Patent application title: METHODS TO DIAGNOSE A REQUIRED REGULATION OF TROPHOBLAST INVASION
Isabella Caniggia (Toronto, CA)
Martin Post (Toronto, CA)
Stephen Lye (Toronto, CA)
Mount Sinai Hospital
IPC8 Class: AA61K39395FI
Class name: Drug, bio-affecting and body treating compositions immunoglobulin, antiserum, antibody, or antibody fragment, except conjugate or complex of the same with nonimmunoglobulin material binds hormone or other secreted growth regulatory factor, differentiation factor, or intercellular mediator (e.g., cytokine, vascular permeability factor, etc.); or binds serum protein, plasma protein, fibrin, or enzyme
Publication date: 2012-03-15
Patent application number: 20120064087
Methods are provided for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with
increased risk of preeclampsia. The methods involve measuring levels of
TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGfβ family, or
1. A method for detecting, preventing, and/or treating a condition
requiring regulation of trophoblast invasion comprising detecting or
modulating TGFβ3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family,
HIF-1.alpha., or oxygen tension.
2. The method according to claim 1 for diagnosing preeclampsia or an increased risk of preeclampsia in a subject comprising detecting TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha. in a sample from the subject.
3. The method according to claim 2, the method comprising: (a) collecting a sample from the subject; (b) measuring the levels of TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha. in the sample; and (c) comparing the levels of TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha. in the sample to the levels in women with normal pregnancies or from a sample taken from the subject at a second time of pregnancy.
4. The method according to claim 3, wherein the levels of TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha. are measured in a sample from the subject during the first trimester of pregnancy.
5. The method according to claim 2, wherein TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha. are detected using an antibody specific for TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha..
6. The method according to claim 2, wherein TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha. are detected by measuring a nucleic acid sequence encoding TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II), endoglin, or HIF-1.alpha..
7. The method according to claim 1 for treating a woman suffering from, or who may be susceptible to preeclampsia, comprising administering a therapeutically effective dosage of an inhibitor of (a) TGF-.beta.3, (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, or (c) HIF-1.alpha..
8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the inhibitor is antisense to TGFβ3 or antisense to HIF-1.alpha..
9. The method according to claim 7, wherein the inhibitor is an antibody to TGFβ.sub.3.
10. The method according to claim 7, wherein the inhibitor is decorin, fetuin, α2-macroglobulin, or thyroglobulin, or peptides derived from sites on the compounds that bind to TGFβ3.
11. A method for evaluating a test substance for its ability to regulate trophoblast invasion comprising the steps of: (a) reacting TGFβ3 and a receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family, and a test substance, wherein the TGFβ3 and receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family, are selected so that they bind to form a ligand-receptor complex; and (b) comparing to a control in the absence of the substance to determine if the substance stimulates or inhibits the binding of TGFβ3 to the receptor and thereby regulates trophoblast invasion.
12. A complex comprising receptors selected from the group consisting of TGF-.beta.3, TGF-.beta. type I receptor (ALK-I) (RI), TGF-.beta. type II receptor (R-II) and endoglin.
13. A method of detecting of the complex of claim 12, comprising contacting a sample taken from a subject with an antibody that binds to one of the receptors in the complex.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/784,968, filed May 21, 2010, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/252,400, filed Oct. 16, 2008, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,745,495, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/043,493, filed Jan. 26, 2005, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,445,940, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/028,158, filed Dec. 20, 2001, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,863,880, which is a division of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/380,662, filed Dec. 21, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,376,199, which is a National Stage of PCT/CA98/00180, filed Mar. 5, 1998, which claims the benefit of the priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/039,919, filed Mar. 7, 1997, now abandoned. Each of these applications is hereby incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 During placental development the establishment of fetal-maternal interactions is critical for a successful human pregnancy (1). Abnormalities of placenta formation due to shallow trophoblast invasion have been linked to preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction (2). In contrast, uncontrolled trophoblast invasion and abnormal trophoblast growth are associated with hydatiform mole and choriocarcinoma. In the course of placenta formation, chorionic villous cytotrophoblasts undergo two morphologically distinct pathways of differentiation. The vast majority of cytotrophoblasts in both floating and anchoring villi fuse to form the syncytiotrophoblast layer, which permits gas and nutrient exchange for the developing embryo. A small percentage of cytotrophoblasts in anchoring villi break through the syncytium, at selected sites, and generate columns of non-polarized cells which migrate into the endometrium. These extravillous trophoblasts (EVT) invade deeply into the uterus reaching the first third of the myometrium at which point they invade the spiral arteries, replacing their endothelium and vascular wall. Invasion peaks at 12 weeks of gestation and rapidly declines thereafter, indicating that, unlike tumour invasion, it is spatially and temporally regulated (3). Trophoblast invasion in the decidua is accompanied by a complex modulation of the synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and in the expression of adhesion molecules (4-6). Along the invasive pathway, ECM proteins undergo changes in their spatial distribution with loss of laminin and appearance of fibronectin (3,4). EVT loose the expression of E-cadherins, responsible for cell-cell adhesion between polarized stem cytotrophoblasts, down-regulate α6 β4 integrin, a laminin receptor, and acquire α5β1 integrin, a fibronectin receptor (7). Once the EVT invade the endometrium they express the α1β1 integrin, a collagen/laminin receptor. Thus, specific changes in ECM proteins and their receptors are associated with the acquisition of an invasive phenotype by the extravillous trophoblasts (4).
 Preeclampsia occurs in 5-10% of pregnancies and is the leading cause of death and illness in women during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is also associated with considerable fetal/neonatal complications because of adverse intrauterine conditions and preterm delivery. There is currently no effective pharmacologic treatment for preeclampsia and the only remedy is to remove the placenta (and hence deliver the fetus preterm). Current protocols, including bedrest and antihypertensive drugs, seek to stabilize maternal/fetal condition until delivery is necessitated. It is estimated that around 200,000 children are born preterm in North America due to preeclampsia. Many of these babies will require costly intensive care at birth and if they survive may face a lifetime of chronic illness (e.g. lung disease) or disability (e.g. cerebral palsy, mental handicaps, blindness). These conditions represent a significant impact on subsequent requirements for community health care resources. Therefore, reducing the incidence of preeclampsia and preterm birth would have a tremendous positive impact on health care delivery.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates to methods and compositions for diagnosing and treating conditions requiring regulation of trophoblast invasion.
 The present inventors have studied the mechanisms that regulate trophoblast invasion. The inventors have found that antisense disruption of the expression of the TGFβ receptor, endoglin, triggers invasion of cytotrophoblast from first trimester villous explants in vitro indicating that the TGFβ receptor system, and in particular endoglin, plays a critical role in regulating this process. Significantly, the present inventors defined components that endogenously regulate trophoblast invasion. TGF-β3 was found to be a major regulator of trophoblast invasion in vitro. In particular, the presence of TGF-β3 and its receptors at 5-8 weeks at a time when there is no spontaneous trophoblast invasion and the absence of these molecules at 12-13 weeks when spontaneous invasion occurs, establishes a major role for TGF-β3 as an endogenous inhibitor of trophoblast invasion. Down-regulation of TGF-β3 (but not β1 or β2) expression using antisense oligonucleotides, stimulated extravillous trophoblast cell (EVT) outgrowth/migration and fibronectin production in 5-8 villous explants indicating that TGF-β3 acts to suppress in vivo trophoblast invasion. The effects of antisense treatment to TGF-β3 are specific as they are prevented by addition of exogenous TGF-β3 but not TGF-β1 or TGF-β2. The stimulatory effects of TGF-β3 are lost after 9 weeks of gestation which is compatible with TGF-β3 being produced by the villi during a specific window of gestation within the first trimester (5-8 weeks) and that inhibition of its synthesis stimulates trophoblast differentiation. Addition of exogenous TGF-β3 to the villous explants inhibits fibronectin synthesis.
 The clinical importance of TGF-β3 in regulating trophoblast invasion has been highlighted by the finding that TGF-β3 is highly expressed in trophoblast tissue of preeclamptic patients when compared to that in age-matched control placenta while there was no change in the expression of either the β1 or β2 isoform. Fibronectin and α5 integrin expression were also greater in preeclamptic placenta, indicating that in preeclampsia, where there is shallow trophoblast invasion, trophoblast cells are arrested as an α5 integrin phenotype producing TGF-β3. These data are supported by the finding that villous explants from a control (non-preeclamptic placenta, 32 weeks of gestation) spontaneously formed columns of trophoblasts that invaded the surrounding Matrigel, while explants from a preeclamptic placenta did not
 In contrast to TGF-β3, activin, a TGF-β receptor, has been found to trigger trophoblast invasion. Follistatin an activin binding protein inhibited the stimulatory effect of activin, and antibodies and antisense to endoglin.
 Oxygen tension was also found to play a role in regulating trophoblast invasion. The expression of the hypoxia inducible factor, HIF-1α, parallels that of TGF-β3 in first trimester trophoblast (i.e. peaks at 6-8 weeks but decreases after 9-10 weeks when oxygen tension increases). Expression of HIF-1α was dramatically increased in placentas of preeclamptic patients when compared to age-matched control tissue. Induction of HIF-1α by low PO2 (around 6-8 weeks) up regulates TGF-β3 transcription and blocks trophoblast invasion. A failure of the system to down-regulate at 9-11 weeks (either due to a block in response to normoxia or the absence of an increase in oxygen tension) leads to shallow invasion and predisposes to preeclampsia.
 In addition to endoglin, the present inventors have found that TGF-β3 signals through a receptor complex which includes RI (ALK1), RII and endoglin. While TGF-β RI (ALK-5) and TGF-β R-II are expressed throughout the villi and decidua at 9-10 weeks gestation, they were found to be absent from the base of the proximal columns of the anchoring villi at the transition zone between the villous and the invading EVT exactly at the site where endoglin is up-regulated. This dramatic change in TGF-β receptor expression indicates that EVT within the columns in situ are not subject to the inhibitory actions of TGFβ, but via R-I and R-II they come under the control of this ligand upon entering the decidua. In addition, antisense induced disruption of RI (ALK-1) and RII expression stimulated trophoblast outgrowth/migration and fibronectin synthesis. In contrast, antisense to RI (ALK-5) inhibited fibronectin synthesis.
 Broadly stated the present invention relates to a method for detecting, preventing, and/or treating a condition requiring regulation of trophoblast invasion by modulating (a) TGF-β3 (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, (c) HIF-1α, and/or (d) O2 tension. In accordance with one aspect of the invention a method is provided for diagnosing in a subject a condition requiring regulation of trophoblast invasion comprising detecting TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, or HIF-1α, in a sample from the subject. In an embodiment of the diagnostic method of the invention, a method is provided for diagnosing increased risk of preeclampsia in a subject comprising detecting TGF-β3 or its receptors, or HIF-1α in a sample from the subject.
 The invention also broadly contemplates a method for regulating trophoblast invasion comprising inhibiting or stimulating TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, HIF-1α, or O2 tension. In an embodiment of the invention, a method is provided for increasing trophoblast invasion in a subject comprising administering to the subject an effective amount of an inhibitor of (a) TGF-β3, (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, and/or (c) HIF-1α. In a preferred embodiment of the invention a method is provided for treating a woman suffering from, or who may be susceptible to preeclampsia comprising administering therapeutically effective dosages of an inhibitor of (a) TGF-β3, (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, and/or (c) HIF-1α. A therapeutically effective dosage is an amount of an inhibitor of (a), (b) and/or (c) effective to down regulate or inhibit TGF-β3 in the woman.
 In another embodiment of the invention, a method is providing for reducing trophoblast invasion in a subject comprising administering an effective amount of (a) TGF-β3; (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family; (c) HIF-1α; and/or (d) a stimulator of (a), (b) or (c). In a preferred embodiment, a method is provided for monitoring or treating choriocarcinoma or hydatiform mole in a subject comprising administering therapeutically effective dosages of (a) TGF-β3; (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family; (c) HIF-1α; and/or (d) a stimulator of (a), (b) or (c). An amount is administered which is effective to up regulate or stimulate TGF-β3 in the subject.
 The invention also relates to a composition adapted for regulating trophoblast invasion comprising a substance which inhibits or stimulates TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, and/or HIF-1α, or regulates O2 tension, in an amount effective to inhibit or stimulate trophoblast invasion, and an appropriate carrier, diluent, or excipient. In an embodiment of the invention, a composition is provided for treating a woman suffering from, or who may be susceptible to preeclampsia, comprising a therapeutically effective amount of an inhibitor of (a) TGF-β3, (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, and/or (c) HIF-1α, and a carrier, diluent, or excipient. In another embodiment of the invention, a composition is provided for monitoring or treating choriocarcinoma or hydatiform mole in a subject comprising a therapeutically effective amount of (a) TGF-β3; (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGF family; (c) HIF-1α; and/or (d) a stimulator of (a), (b) or (c), and a carrier, diluent, or excipient.
 The invention further relates to a method of selecting a substance that regulates trophoblast invasion comprising assaying for a substance that inhibits or stimulates TGF-β3, receptors of a cytokine of the TGFβ family, or HIF-1α. The substances may be used in the methods of the invention to regulate trophoblast invasion.
 The invention also relates to kits for carrying out the methods of the invention.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description. It should be understood, however, that the detailed description and the specific examples while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The invention will now be described in relation to the drawings in which:
 FIG. 1 shows the amino acid and nucleic acid sequence of TGF-β3;
 FIG. 2 shows the amino acid and nucleic acid sequence of HIF-1α;
 FIG. 3A are Southern blots showing expression of TGF-β isoforms in human placenta in the first trimester of gestation;
 FIG. 3B are photographs of immunoperoxidase staining of TGF-β3 performed in placental sections at 5, 8, and 12 weeks of gestation;
 FIG. 4A are photographs showing that addition of recombinant TGF-β3 to antisense TGF-β3 abolishes the antisense stimulatory effect on trophoblast budding and outgrowth;
 FIG. 4B are blots showing the reversal effect on antisense TGF-β3 stimulatory effect by exogenous TGF-β3 for fibronectin synthesis;
 FIG. 4C is a graph showing the changes in fibronectin estimated after normalization to control cultures;
 FIG. 4D are blots showing the effects on gelatinase activity in conditioned media of explants treated with sense or antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3;
 FIG. 4E are blots showing that the antisense TGF-β3 stimulatory effect on fibronectin production is lost after 9 weeks of gestation;
 FIG. 5A are blots showing message expression of TGFβ isoforms, α5 integrin receptor, and fibronectin in preeclamptic and age-matched control placentae;
 FIG. 5B are photographs of immunoperoxidase staining of TGF-β3 performed in placental sections from normal pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia;
 FIG. 6A are photographs showing that antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 induces the formation of trophoblast cells in preeclamptic villous explants;
 FIG. 6B shows the results of gelatin Zymography of explants of 32 weeks gestation from preeclamptic placentae treated with antisense or control sense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 for 5 days;
 FIG. 6C are Western blots with MMP9 antisera of explants of 32 weeks gestation from preeclamptic placentae treated with antisense or control sense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 for 5 days;
 FIG. 7A is a blot showing expression of HIF-1α placenta in the first trimester of gestation;
 FIG. 7B is a blot showing expression of HIF-1α in preeclamptic (PE) and age-matched control placenta (C);
 FIG. 8 is a blot showing the effect of low oxygen tension on TGF-β3 and HIF-1α expression in villous explants;
 FIG. 9 are photographs at 20% O2 and 3% O2 (25× and 50×) showing the effect of low oxygen tension on villous explant morphology; and
 FIG. 10 are photographs showing the effect of antisense to HIF-1α on villous explant morphology.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
1. Diagnostic Methods
 As hereinbefore mentioned, the present invention provides a method for diagnosing in a subject a condition requiring regulation of trophoblast invasion comprising detecting TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, or HIF-1α in a sample from the subject. In an embodiment of the diagnostic method of the invention, a method is provided for diagnosing increased risk of preeclampsia in a subject comprising detecting TGF-β3, its receptors, or HIF-1α in a sample from the subject.
 TGF-β3 is a cytokine of the TGFβ family and it has the structural characteristics of the members of the TGFβ family. TGF is produced as a precursor characterised by having an N-terminal hydrophobic signal sequence for translocation across the endoplasmic reticulum, a pro-region, and a C-terminal bioactive domain. Prior to release from the cell, the pro-region is cleaved at a site containing four basic amino acids immediately preceding the bioactive domain (Massague, 1990, Annu. Review. Cell Biol. 6:597).
 The precursor structure of TGFβ is shared by members of the TGFβ family, with the exception of the TGFβ4 precursor which lacks a distinguishable signal sequence. The degree of identity between family members in the C-terminal bioactive domain is from 25 to 90% (See Basler et al. Cell, 73:687, 1993, FIG. 2). All nine cysteines are conserved in the bioactive domain in the TGFβ family. The bioactive domain is cleaved to generate a mature monomer.
 The TGFβ family includes five members, termed TGFβ 1 through TGFβ 5, all of which form homodimers of about 25 kd (reviewed in Massague, 1990). The family also includes TGFβ 1.2 which is a heterodimer containing a β1 and a β2 subunit linked by disulfide bonds. The five TGFβ genes are highly conserved. The mature TGFβ processed cytokines produced from the members of the gene family show almost 100% amino acid identity between species and the five peptides as a group show about 60-80% identity. The amino acid sequence and nucleic acid sequence of TGF-β3 are shown in FIG. 1 (See also sequences for GenBank Accession Nos. HSTGF31-HSTGF37 and HSTGFB3M).
 "Receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family" or "TGFβ receptors" refers to the specific cell surface receptors which bind to cytokines of the TGFβ family, in particular TGF-β3, including the TGF-β type I receptor (ALK-1 or ALK-5)) (R-I), TGF-β type II receptor (R-II), betaglycan, endoglin and activin, and complexes of the receptors, in particular a RI-RII-endoglin complex. Endoglin binds TGFβ1 and β3 with high affinity (KD=50 pM). Betaglycan has considerable sequence homology to endoglin (Chiefetz, S., et al J. Biol. Chem. 267: 19027, 1992; Lopez-Casillas, F., et al, Cell 67:785, 1991; Wang, X. F., et al, Cell 67:797, 1991), it can bind all three forms of TGF-β3, and it regulates access of the ligands to R-I and R-II which are serine/threonine kinases and unlike betaglycan, are necessary for signal transduction (Wrana, J. L. et al, Cell 71:1003, 1992, Lopez-Casillas et al, Cell 73:1435, 1993; Franzen, P., et al Cell 75:681, 1993; Laiho, M. et al, J. Biol. Chem. 266:9108; Massague, J. et al, Trends Cell Biol. 4:172, 1994). TGFβ R-II is an integral membrane protein which contains a short extracellular domain, a single transmembrane domain, and an intracellular serine/threonine kinase domain (Lin H. Y. et al., Cell 68:775, 1992). Serine/threonine kinases encoding type II receptors have been cloned which are structurally related to the type II receptors (Wrana, J. L. et al, Cell 71:1003, 1992, ten Dikje, P., et al, Oncogene 8:2879, 1993; Ebner, R., et al Science 260:1344, 1993; Ebner, R., et al Science 262:900, 1993). TGFβ R-I (human ALK-5), binds TGFβ1 and β3 only in the presence of TGFβ R-II (Wrana, J. L. et al, Cell 71:1003, 1992). The human ALK-1 (TGFβ R-I) binds TGFβ when forming a heterodimeric complex with TGFβ R-II (Franzen, P., et al Cell 75:681, 1993). TGFβ R-II kinase, which is endogenously phosphorylated, phosphorylates and activates R-I which then initiates further downstream signals (Wrana, J. L. et al, Nature 370:341, 1994).
 Hypoxia-inducible factor-I (HIF-1) is present in nuclear extracts of many mammalian cells cultivated in a low oxygen atmosphere (Semenza, G. L. et al Mol. Cell. Biol. 12:5447, 1992; Wang, G. L. et al J. Biol. Chem. 268:21513, 1993). HIF-I binds as a phosphoprotein to a short DNA motif (BACGTSSK) identified in the 3'-flanking regions of many hypoxia-induced genes (Semenza, G. L. et al. J. Biol Chem 269:23757, 1994; Liu, Y., et al Circulation Res. 77:638, 1995; Firth, J. D. et al Proc. Natl. Acad, Sci. USA 91:6496, 1994; Abe, M., et al, Anal. Biochem. 216:276, 1994). HIF-I binds DNA as a heterodimeric complex composed of two subunits of the inducible HIF-1α and the constitutively expressed HIF-Iβ.
 TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family (e.g., TGFβ RI (ALK-1), TGFβ RII, or a complex of RI-RII-endoglin), or HIF-1α may be detected in a variety of samples from a patient. Examples of suitable samples include cells (e.g. fetal or maternal); and, fluids (fetal or maternal), including for example, serum, plasma, amniotic fluid, saliva, and conditioned medium from fetal or maternal cells.
 TGF-β3, receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, or HIF-1α may be detected using a substance which directly or indirectly interacts with the cytokine, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α. For example, antibodies specific for TGF-β3, the TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α may be used to diagnose and monitor a condition requiring regulation of trophoblast invasion. A method of the invention using antibodies may utilize Countercurrent Immuno-Electrophoresis (CIEP), Radioimmunoassays, Radioimmunoprecipitations, and Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assays (ELISA), Dot Blot assays, Inhibition or Competition assays and sandwich assays (see U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,376,110 and 4,486,530; see also Antibodies: A Laboratory Manual, supra).
 Antibodies used in the methods of the invention include monoclonal antibodies, polyclonal antibodies, antibody fragments (e.g., Fab, and F(ab')2 and recombinantly produced binding partners. Polyclonal antibodies may be readily generated by one of ordinary skill in the art from a variety of warm-blooded animals such as horses, cows, various fowl, rabbits, mice, or rats. Monoclonal antibodies may also be readily generated using conventional techniques (see U.S. Pat. Nos. RE 32,011, 4,902,614, 4,543,439, and 4,411,993 which are incorporated herein by reference; see also Monoclonal Antibodies, Hybridomas: A New Dimension in Biological Analyses, Plenum Press, Kennett, McKeam, and Bechtol (eds.), 1980, and Antibodies: A Laboratory Manual, Harlow and Lane (eds.), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1988, which are also incorporated herein by reference). Binding partners may be constructed utilizing recombinant DNA techniques to incorporate the variable regions of a gene which encodes a specifically binding antibody (See Bird et al., Science 242:423-426, 1988).
 Antibodies may also be obtained from commercial sources. For example, antibodies to TGF-β3 may be obtained from American Diagnostics Inc., CT. USA, Oncogene Science, NY, USA, and Dimension Laboratories, Mississauga, Canada.
 The presence of TGF-β3 in a sample may also be determined by measuring the binding of the cytokine to compounds which are known to interact with TGF-β3 such as its receptors, or decorin, thrombospondin, the serum glycoprotein α2-macroglobulin, fetuin, or thyroglobulin (Y. Yamaguchi, D. M. Mann, E. Ruoslahti, Nature 346, 281 (1990); S. Scholtz-Cherry J. E. Murphy-Ullrich, J. Cell Biol. 122, 923 (1993); O'Conner-McCourt, L, M. Wakefield J. Biol. Chem. 262, 14090 (1987); and J. Massague Curr. Biol. 1, 117 (1991)). These compounds are referred to herein as "TGFβ Binding Compounds".
 The presence of receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family may be determined by measuring the binding of the receptors to molecules (or parts thereof) which are known to interact with the receptors such as their ligands. In particular, peptides derived from sites on ligands which bind to the receptors may be used. A peptide derived from a specific site on a ligand may encompass the amino acid sequence of a naturally occurring binding site, any portion of that binding site, or other molecular entity that functions to bind an associated molecule. A peptide derived from such a site will interact directly or indirectly with an associated receptor molecule in such a way as to mimic the native binding site. Such peptides may include competitive inhibitors, enhancers, peptide mimetics, and the like as discussed below. The presence of HIF-1α may be determined by measuring the binding of HIF-α1 to DNA molecules which are known to interact with HIF-α1 such as hypoxia inducing genes. The TGFβ binding compounds and molecules that interact with the receptors and HIF-1α are referred to herein as "Binding Compounds".
 The antibodies specific for the TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α, or the Binding Compounds may be labelled using conventional methods with various enzymes, fluorescent materials, luminescent materials and radioactive materials. Examples of suitable enzymes include horseradish peroxidase, alkaline phosphatase, β-galactosidase, or acetylcholinesterase; examples of suitable fluorescent materials include umbelliferone, fluorescein, fluorescein isothiocyanate, rhodamine, dichlorotriazinylamine fluorescein, dansyl chloride or phycoerythrin; an example of a luminescent material includes luminol; and examples of suitable radioactive materials include radioactive phosphorous 32P, iodine I125, I131 or tritium.
 An antibody to TGF-β3, a TGFβ family receptor, or HIF-1α, or a Binding Compound may also be indirectly labelled with a ligand binding partner. For example, the antibodies, or a TGF-β3 Binding Compound may be conjugated to one partner of a ligand binding pair, and the TGF-β3 may be coupled to the other partner of the ligand binding pair. Representative examples include avidin-biotin, and riboflavin-riboflavin binding protein. Preferably the antibodies are biotinylated. Methods for conjugating the antibodies discussed above with the ligand binding partner may be readily accomplished by one of ordinary skill in the art (see Wilchek and Bayer, "The Avidin-Biotin Complex in Bioanalytical Applications," Anal Biochem. 171:1-32, 1988).
 The antibodies or Binding Compounds used in the method of the invention may be insolubilized. For example, the antibodies or Binding Compounds may be bound to a suitable carrier. Examples of suitable carriers are agarose, cellulose, dextran, Sephadex, Sepharose, carboxymethyl cellulose polystyrene, filter paper, ion-exchange resin, plastic film, plastic tube, glass beads, polyamine-methyl vinyl-ether-maleic acid copolymer, amino acid copolymer, ethylene-maleic acid copolymer, nylon, silk, etc. The carrier may be in the shape of, for example, a tube, test plate, beads, disc, sphere etc. The insolubilized compound or antibodies may be prepared by reacting the material with a suitable insoluble carrier using known chemical or physical methods, for example, cyanogen bromide coupling.
 Indirect methods may also be employed in which a primary antigen-antibody reaction is amplified by the introduction of a second antibody, having specificity for the antibody reactive against the cytokine. By way of example, if the antibody having specificity against TGF-β3 is a rabbit IgG antibody, the second antibody may be goat anti-rabbit gamma-globulin labelled with a detectable substance as described herein.
 TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α can also be assayed in a sample using nucleotide probes to detect nucleic acid molecules encoding a TGF-β3, the TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α. Suitable probes include nucleic acid molecules based on nucleic acid sequences encoding TGF-β3, the TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α. A nucleotide probe may be labelled with a detectable substance such as a radioactive label which provides for an adequate signal and has sufficient half-life such as 32P, 3H, 14C or the like. Other detectable substances which may be used include antigens that are recognized by a specific labelled antibody, fluorescent compounds, enzymes, antibodies specific for a labelled antigen, and luminescent compounds. An appropriate label may be selected having regard to the rate of hybridization and binding of the probe to the nucleotide to be detected and the amount of nucleotide available for hybridization. Labelled probes may be hybridized to nucleic acids on solid supports such as nitrocellulose filters or nylon membranes as generally described in Sambrook et al, 1989, Molecular Cloning, A Laboratory Manual (2nd ed.).
 A nucleic acid molecule encoding TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF1α can also be detected by selective amplification of the nucleic acid molecules using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Synthetic oligonucleotide primers can be constructed from the sequences of the TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF1α using conventional methods. A nucleic acid can be amplified in a sample using these oligonucleotide primers and standard PCR amplification techniques.
 In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a method is provided for diagnosing increased risk of preeclampsia in a subject comprising detecting TGF-β3, TGFβ R-I (ALK-1), TGFβ R-II, endoglin, HIF-1α, or a complex of R-I (ALK-1)-R-II-endoglin in a sample, and in particular using antibodies specific for TGF-β3. Levels of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors or complexes thereof, or HIF-1α may be measured during the first trimester of pregnancy (approximately 1 to 14 weeks). It is preferred that at least two measurements be taken during this period, preferably including a measurement at about 14 to 16 weeks. If the levels are significantly increased as compared to levels typical for women who do not suffer from preeclampsia, the patient is diagnosed as having an increased risk of suffering preeclampsia. Levels above those typical for women who do not suffer from preeclampsia may be suspect and further monitoring and measurement of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α may be appropriate. The information from the diagnostic method may be used to identify subjects who may benefit from a course of treatment, such as treatment via administration of inhibitors of TGF-β3 as discussed herein.
 It will also be appreciated that the above methods may also be useful in the diagnosis or monitoring of choriocarcinoma or hydatiform mole which involves uncontrolled trophoblast invasion (i.e. may be associated with abnormally low levels of TGF-β3, TGFβ family receptors, or HIF1α). Further the above methods may be used to diagnose or monitor other pregnancy complications including intrauterine growth restriction, molar pregnancy, preterm labour, preterm birth, fetal anomalies, and placental abruption. The diagnostic and monitoring methods of the invention may also involve determining responsiveness of cells to oxygen.
 The invention also relates to kits for carrying out the methods of the invention. The kits comprise instructions, negative and positive controls, and means for direct or indirect measurement of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF1α.
2. Regulation of Trophoblast Invasion in a Subject
 The invention also provides a method of regulating trophoblast invasion comprising directly or indirectly inhibiting or stimulating (a) TGF-β3 (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, (c) HIF1α; and/or (d) O2 tension, preferably inhibiting or stimulating TGF-β3. Trophoblast invasion may also be regulated by optimizing oxygenation of tissues.
 In an embodiment of the invention, a method is provided for increasing trophoblast invasion in a subject comprising administering an effective amount of a substance which is an inhibitor of (a) TGF-β3, (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, and/or (c) HIF-1α. In particular, methods are provided for treating a women suffering from or who may be susceptible to preeclampsia.
 In another embodiment of the invention, a method is providing for reducing trophoblast invasion in a subject comprising administering an effective amount of (a) TGF-β3; (b) receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family; (c) HIF-α1; and/or (d) a stimulator of (a), (b) or (c). The method may be used to monitor or treat choriocarcinoma or hydatiform mole.
 The methods of the invention may also be used to monitor or treat other complications of pregnancy such as intrauterine growth restriction, molar pregnancy, preterm labour, preterm birth, fetal anomalies, or placental abruption.
 Substances that regulate trophoblast invasion can be selected by assaying for a substance that inhibits or stimulates the activity of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α. A substance that regulates trophoblast invasion can also be identified based on its ability to specifically interfere or stimulate the interaction of (a) TGF-β3 and a receptor for the cytokine (e.g. the interaction of TGF-β3 and endoglin, or TGF-β3 and R-I, R-II, or a complex of R-I-R-II endoglin, or (b) TGF-β3 and HIF1α.
 Therefore, a method is provided for evaluating a compound for its ability to regulate trophoblast invasion comprising the steps of:
 (a) reacting TGF-β3 or a part thereof that binds to a receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family, with a receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family or a part thereof that binds to TGF-β3, and a test substance, wherein the TGF-β3 and receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family or parts thereof, are selected so that they bind to form a ligand-receptor complex; and
 (b) comparing to a control in the absence of the substance to determine the effect of the substance.
 In particular, a method is provided for identifying a substance which regulates trophoblast invasion comprising the steps of:
 (a) reacting TGF-β3 or a part thereof that binds to a receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family, and a receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family or a part thereof that binds to TGF-β3, and a test substance, wherein the TGF-β3 and receptor of a cytokine of the TGFβ family or parts thereof, are selected so that they bind to form a ligand-receptor complex, under conditions which permit the formation of ligand-receptor complexes, and
 (b) assaying for complexes, for free substance, for non-complexed TGF-β3 or receptor, or for activation of the receptor.
 The substance may stimulate or inhibit the interaction of TGFβ or a part thereof that binds the TGFβ receptor, and the TGFβ receptor.
 In an embodiment of the invention a receptor complex is employed comprising TGFβ R-I (ALK-1)-TGFβ RII-endoglin.
 Activation of the receptor may be assayed by measuring phosphorylation of the receptor, or by assaying for a biological affect on a cell, such measuring biochemical markers of trophoblast invasion such as cell proliferation, FN synthesis, integrin expression, up regulation of gelatinase and type IV collagenase expression and activity.
 The invention also provides a method for evaluating a substance for its ability to regulate trophoblast invasion comprising the steps of:
 (a) reacting TGF-β3 or a part of TGF-β3 that binds to HIF-1α, HIF-1α or a part of the protein that binds to TGF-β3, and a test substance, wherein the TGF-β3 or part thereof, and HIF-1α or part thereof bind to form a TGF-β3-HIF-1α complex; and
 (b) comparing to a control in the absence of the substance to determine the effect of the substance.
 The substance may stimulate or inhibit the interaction of TGF-β3 and HIF-1α, or the activation of TGFβ by HIF-1α and thereby regulate trophoblast invasion.
 The substances identified using the methods of the invention include but are not limited to peptides such as soluble peptides including Ig-tailed fusion peptides, members of random peptide libraries and combinatorial chemistry-derived molecular libraries made of D- and/or L-configuration amino acids, phosphopeptides (including members of random or partially degenerate, directed phosphopeptide libraries), antibodies [e.g. polyclonal, monoclonal, humanized, anti-idiotypic, chimeric, single chain antibodies, fragments, (e.g. Fab, F(ab)2, and Fab expression library fragments, and epitope-binding fragments thereof)], and small organic or inorganic molecules. The substance may be an endogenous physiological compound or it may be a natural or synthetic compound. The substance may be a TGFβ R-I-TGFβ R-II-endoglin complex, which competitively inhibits the binding of TGF-β3 to its natural receptors. The invention contemplates isolated TGFβ R-I-TGFβ R-II-endoglin complexes and their use in regulating trophoblast invasion.
 The substances may be peptides derived from the binding sites of TGF-β3 and a receptor for the cytokine such as endoglin, R-I or R-II, or a complex of R-I-R-II-endoglin; or the binding sites of TGF-β3 and HIF1α. A peptide derived from a specific binding site may encompass the amino acid sequence of a naturally occurring binding site, any portion of that binding site, or other molecular entity that functions to bind an associated molecule. A peptide derived from such a binding site will interact directly or indirectly with an associated molecule in such a way as to mimic the native binding domain. Such peptides may include competitive inhibitors, enhancers, peptide mimetics, and the like. All of these peptides as well as molecules substantially homologous, complementary or otherwise functionally or structurally equivalent to these peptides may be used for purposes of the present invention.
 "Peptide mimetics" are structures which serve as substitutes for peptides in interactions between molecules (See Morgan et al (1989), Ann. Reports Med. Chem. 24:243-252 for a review). Peptide mimetics include synthetic structures which may or may not contain amino acids and/or peptide bonds but retain the structural and functional features of a peptide, or enhancer or inhibitor of the invention. Peptide mimetics also include peptoids, oligopeptoids (Simon et al (1972) Proc. Natl. Acad, Sci USA 89:9367); and peptide libraries containing peptides of a designed length representing all possible sequences of amino acids corresponding to a peptide of the invention.
 Peptides may be synthesized by conventional techniques. For example, the peptides may be synthesized by chemical synthesis using solid phase peptide synthesis. These methods employ either solid or solution phase synthesis methods (see for example, J. M. Stewart, and J. D. Young, Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis, 2nd Ed., Pierce Chemical Co., Rockford Ill. (1984) and G. Barany and R. B. Merrifield, The Peptides: Analysis Synthesis, Biology editors E. Gross and J. Meienhofer Vol. 2 Academic Press, New York, 1980, pp. 3-254 for solid phase synthesis techniques; and M Bodansky, Principles of Peptide Synthesis, Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1984, and E. Gross and J. Meienhofer, Eds., The Peptides: Analysis, Synthesis, Biology, supra, Vol 1, for classical solution synthesis.)
 Peptide mimetics may be designed based on information obtained by systematic replacement of L-amino acids by D-amino acids, replacement of side chains with groups having different electronic properties, and by systematic replacement of peptide bonds with amide bond replacements. Local conformational constraints can also be introduced to determine conformational requirements for activity of a candidate peptide mimetic. The mimetics may include isosteric amide bonds, or D-amino acids to stabilize or promote reverse turn conformations and to help stabilize the molecule. Cyclic amino acid analogues may be used to constrain amino acid residues to particular conformational states. The mimetics can also include mimics of inhibitor peptide secondary structures. These structures can model the 3-dimensional orientation of amino acid residues into the known secondary conformations of proteins. Peptoids may also be used which are oligomers of N-substituted amino acids and can be used as motifs for the generation of chemically diverse libraries of novel molecules.
 A substance that regulates trophoblast invasion may be a molecule which interferes with the transcription and/or translation of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α. For example, the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule encoding TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors (e.g. endoglin, R-I (ALK-1), R-II, or RI-RII-endoglin complex), or fragments thereof, may be inverted relative to its normal presentation for transcription to produce an antisense nucleic acid molecule. An antisense nucleic acid molecule may be constructed using chemical synthesis and enzymatic ligation reactions using procedures known in the art. Examples of antisense molecules for TGF-β3 are 5'-CCTTTGCAAGTGCATC-3' (SEQ ID NO: 1) and 5'-GATGCACTTGCAAAGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 2).
 The treatment methods and compositions described herein may use substances that are known inhibitors of TGF-β3. For example, antibodies to TGF-β3, the TGFβ Binding Compounds including decorin, α2-macroglobulin, fetuin, and thyroglobulin, or peptides derived from the sites on these compounds that bind to TGF-β3, or chimeras of these molecules may be employed.
 Activin, another member of the TGFβ receptor family, triggers trophoblast invasion and therefore it may be used to enhance trophoblast invasion in a subject.
 The utility of a selected inhibitor or stimulator may be confirmed in experimental model systems. For example, the human villous explant culture system described by Genbacev et al. (21) can be used to confirm the utility of an inhibitor for treatment of preeclampsia.
 In a preferred embodiment of the invention a method is provided for treating a woman suffering from, or who may be susceptible to preeclampsia comprising administering therapeutically effective dosages of an inhibitor of TGF-β3 or TGFβ receptors, an inhibitor of HIF-1α, or a substance identified in accordance with the methods of the invention. Preferably treatment with the inhibitor begins early in the first trimester, at about 10 to about 16 weeks, and may continue until measured TGF-β3 levels, TGF-β receptor levels, or HIF-1α levels are within the normal range. Preferably, treatment with the inhibitor or substance is not continued beyond about 30 weeks of gestation. For the purposes of the present invention normal TGF-β3 levels, TGFβ receptor levels, or HIF-1α levels are defined as those levels typical for pregnant women who do not suffer from preeclampsia. Treatment with the inhibitor is discontinued after TGF-β3 levels, TGF-β receptor levels, and/or HIF-1α levels are within normal range, and before any adverse effects of administration of the inhibitor are observed.
 One or more inhibitors or one or more stimulators of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α, or substances selected in accordance with the methods of the invention including Binding Compounds, may be incorporated into a composition adapted for regulating trophoblast invasion. In an embodiment of the invention, a composition is provided for treating a woman suffering from, or who may be susceptible to preeclampsia, comprising a therapeutically effective amount of an inhibitor of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α, or substance selected in accordance with the methods of the invention including TGFβ Binding Compounds, and a carrier, diluent, or excipient.
 The compositions of the invention contain at least one inhibitor or stimulator of TGF-β3, TGFβ receptors, or HIF-1α, or substance identified in accordance with the methods of the invention, alone or together with other active substances. Such compositions can be for oral, parenteral, or local use. They are therefore in solid or semisolid form, for example pills, tablets, and capsules.
 The composition of the invention can be intended for administration to subjects such as humans or animals. The pharmaceutical compositions can be prepared by per se known methods for the preparation of pharmaceutically acceptable compositions which can be administered to patients, and such that an effective quantity of the active substance is combined in a mixture with a pharmaceutically acceptable vehicle, carrier or diluent. Suitable vehicles are described, for example, in Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences (Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mack Publishing Company, Easton, Pa., USA 1985).
 The compositions of the invention may be administered together with or prior to administration of other biological factors that have been found to affect trophoblast proliferation. Examples of these factors include IL-11 (Ireland et al Blood 84:267a, 1994), G-CSF, GM-CSF and M-CSF (U.S. Pat. No. 5,580,554 to Keith).
 The compositions and other biological factors may be administered through any known means. Systemic administration, such as intravenous or subcutaneous administration is preferred. A therapeutically effective amount of an active ingredient e.g. inhibitor is an amount effective to elicit the desired therapeutic response but insufficient to cause a toxic reaction. The dosage for the compositions is determined by the attending physician taking into account factors such as the condition, body weight, diet of the subject, and the time of administration.
 For example, a therapeutically effective dose of an inhibitor, e.g. an amount sufficient to lower levels of TGF-β3 to normal levels, is about 1 to 200 μg/kg/day. The method of the invention may involve a series of administrations of the composition. Such a series may take place over a period of 7 to about 21 days and one or more series may be administered. The composition may be administered initially at the low end of the dosage range and the dose will be increased incrementally over a preselected time course.
 An inhibitor or stimulator of TGF-β3' receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, or HIF-1α, or substance identified in accordance with the methods of the invention may be administered by gene therapy techniques using genetically modified trophoblasts or by directly introducing genes encoding the inhibitors or stimulators of TGF-β3' or receptors of cytokines of the TGFβ family, or substances into trophoblasts in vivo. Trophoblasts may be transformed or transfected with a recombinant vector (e.g. retroviral vectors, adenoviral vectors and DNA virus vectors). Genes encoding inhibitors or stimulators, or substances may be introduced into cells of a subject in vivo using physical techniques such as microinjection and electroporation or chemical methods such as coprecipitation and incorporation of DNA into liposomes. Antisense molecules may also be introduced in vivo using these conventional methods.
 The following non-limiting examples are illustrative of the present invention:
Materials and Methods
Establishment of Human Trophoblast Villous Explant Culture
 Villous explant cultures were established from first trimester human placentae by a modification of the method of Genbacev et al. (21). First trimester human placentae (5-8 weeks gestation) were obtained from elective terminations of pregnancies by dilatation and curettage. Placental tissue was placed in ice-cold phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and processed within two hours of collection. The tissue was washed in sterile PBS, and aseptically dissected using a microscope to remove endometrial tissue and fetal membranes. Small fragments of placental villi (15-20 mg wet weight) were teased apart and placed on a transparent Biopore® membrane of 12-mm diameter Millicell®-CM culture dish inserts with a pore size of 0.4 μm (Millipore Corp, Bedford, Mass.). The inserts were precoated with 0.2 ml of undiluted Matrigel® reagent (Collaborative Research Inc), polymerized at 37° C. for 30 min, and transferred in a 24-well culture dish. Explants were cultured in DMEM/F12 (Gibco, Grand Island, N.Y.) supplemented with 100 μg/ml streptomycin, 100 U/ml penicillin and 0.25 μg/ml ascorbic acid, pH 7.4. Culture media were changed every 48 h and collected for measurement of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and progesterone. Villous explants were kept in culture for up to 6 days. Flattening of the distal end of the villous tips, their adherence to Matrigel® reagent and the appearance of extravillous trophoblast cells (EVT) breaking through from the tips, were used as markers of morphological integrity and trophoblast differentiation as previously described by Genbacev et al. (21). EVT cell outgrowth and migration were consistently monitored and quantitated using the ratio of EVT outgrowths/villous tip, where the nominator, EVT outgrowths, represents the number of extravillous trophoblast columns sprouting from the villous tips plus the number of islands of EVT invading into the Matrigel. The denominator represents the total number of villous tips in a single explant culture. EVT outgrowth from the distal end of the villous tips and their migration into the surrounding matrix were observed for up to 6 days in culture.
 Initial experiments, in the presence of 10% (v/v) fetal bovine serum (FBS), demonstrated that DMEM/F12 supported greater EVT sprouting and migration than DMEM. In order to study the effect of various agents on EVT differentiation, a serum-free villous explant culture system was developed. Villous explants of 5-8 weeks gestation were incubated overnight in DMEM/F12 or DMEM/F12+10% (v/v) FBS to promote attachment of the distal villous tips to the Matrigel® reagent. Following this incubation period, explants were washed with fresh medium and cultured in either serum-free DMEM/F12 or DMEM/F12 supplemented with varying concentrations of FBS (0.5% and 10%). In serum-free medium EVT/villous tip was 1.58±0.08 while it was 1.32±0.17 in 0.5% FBS and 1.26±0.02 in 10% FBS (mean=s.e.m. of 3 separate experiments, each carried out in triplicate), suggesting that villous explant cultures were viable for at least 6 days in a serum-free medium. All subsequent experiments were performed with DMEM/F12 in the absence of serum.
 The viability of the explant cultures was assessed by measuring hCG and progesterone production rate in the culture media collected at the time of media change every 48 h. Both hCG and progesterone concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassays (Coat-A-Count® HCG IRMA kit and progesterone; DPC, Los Angeles, Calif.). Results are expressed for progesterone as ng/0.1 g wet weight tissue and for hCG as IU/0.1 g wet weight tissue.
 Murine monoclonal antibody (MAb) 44G4 specific for human endoglin was produced as previously described (22). IgG purified from ascites was used in all functional assays. Rat MAb 7D3 against cytokeratin was a gift from Drs. S. Fisher and C. Damsky (San Francisco, Calif., USA). Murine MAb TS2/7 against the α1 integrin subunit was provided by Dr. M. Hemler (Boston, Mass., USA). Mouse MAb P1D6 against the α5 integrin subunit was from Chemicon (Temecula, Calif.); rat MAb GoH3 against the α6 integrin subunit was purchased from Serotec Canada (Toronto, Ont. Canada) and the neutralizing rabbit polyclonal antibody to TGF-β was from R&D (Minneapolis, Minn.). Purified mouse IgG from Coulter (Hialeah, Fla.) and rat IgG from Sigma (Diagnostic, Toronto, Ont. Canada) were used as negative controls.
 Villous explants kept in culture for 6 days in the presence or absence of antisense oligonucleotides to endoglin were dissected away from the insert membrane with the supporting Matrigel. Explants and placental tissue of 9 weeks gestation were fixed for 1 h at 4° C. in 4% (vol/vol) paraformaldehyde, cryoprotected by incubation in 10% (vol/vol) glycerol for 30 min and 50% (vol/vol) OCT compound (Tissue Tek, Miles, Ind.) for 18 h, embedded in 100% OCT and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Ten micron sections were cut with a cryostat and mounted on poly-L-lysine coated slides. To verify the quality of the tissue and select the most representative sections, every tenth one was stained with haematoxylin and eosin; neighboring sections were selected and stained using the avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase method. Endogenous peroxidase enzyme activity was quenched with 3% (vol/vol) hydrogen peroxide in 0.01 M Tris-HCl, pH 7.4, containing 0.15 M NaCl, or methanol for 10 minutes. Non-specific binding sites were blocked using 5% (vol/vol) normal horse serum (NHS) and 1% (wt/vol) BSA in Tris-buffer for 40 min at 23° C. In the case of murine monoclonal antibodies, a higher background was observed and it was necessary to preincubate the sections with 5% (wt/vol) Texas Red®-conjugated goat anti-mouse IgG antibody for 1 h at 23° C. prior to incubation with primary antibody at 4° C. for 1 h. Optimal antibody concentrations were established in preliminary experiments by titration and were used as follows: 44G4, 5 μg/ml; rabbit anti-TGF-β, 20 μg/ml; P1D6, 20 μg/ml; GoH3, 0.5 μg/ml; TS2/7, 20 μg/ml; 7D3, 10 μg/ml. The slides were washed three times with Tris-buffer, then incubated with a 200-fold dilution of biotinylated goat anti-rabbit IgG or a 300-fold dilution of biotinylated horse anti-mouse or anti-rat IgG, for 1 h at 4° C. After washing three times with Tris-buffer, the slides were incubated with an avidin-biotin complex for 1 h. Slides were washed again in Tris-buffer and developed in 0.075% (wt/vol) 3,3-diaminobenzidine in Tris-buffer, pH 7.6, containing 0.002% (vol/vol) H2O2 giving rise to a brown product. After light counterstaining with toluidine blue, slides were dehydrated in an ascending ethanol series, cleared in xylene, and mounted. In control experiments, primary antibodies were replaced with non-immune mouse or rat IgG, or blocking solution [5% (vol/vol) NGS and 1% (wt/vol) BSA].
Effect of Antibody to Endoglin on EVT Formation
 Villous explants, prepared from placentae of 5-8 weeks gestation, were incubated for 16 h in DMEM/F12. Explant cultures were then washed with fresh serum-free medium and incubated in serum-free DMEM/F12 medium containing increasing concentrations of MAb 44G4 IgG (0.1 to 10 μg/ml). DMEM/F12 medium±antibody was replaced every 48 h. Antibody addition was thus performed on day 1, 3 and 5 of culture. Morphological integrity of villous explants and their EVT differentiation were monitored daily for up to 6 days.
Antisense Oligonucleotides and their Effects on EVT Formation
 Phosphorothioate oligonucleotides (ON) were synthesized on a DNA synthesizer and purified by capillary electrophoresis. Oligonucleotides of 16 base pairs targeted against sequences adjacent to the AUG initiation codon of human endoglin (23) mRNA were synthesized. Previous studies have demonstrated that antisense oligonucleotides, targeted to sequences adjacent to initiation codons, are most efficient in inhibiting translation (24). Furthermore, 16-mer oligonucleotides are short enough to be taken up efficiently and provide sufficient specificity for hybridization to the corresponding target mRNA (24). The sequences of the antisense and sense endoglin oligonucleotides were 5'-GCGTGCCGCGGTCCAT-3' (SEQ ID NO: 3) and 5'-ATGGACCGCGGCACGC-3' (SEQ ID NO: 4), respectively. An oligomer with the same composition as the antisense oligonucleotide, but with a scrambled sequence, 5'-GCGGGCCTCGTTCCAG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 5), was also synthesized and used as a negative control. Oligonucleotides were dissolved in water and their concentration was estimated by optical density at OD260. Antisense or sense oligonucleotides (5-10 μM) were added to the villous explants on day 1 and day 3 of culture. EVT sprouting and migration from the distal end of the villous tips were recorded daily for up to 6 days.
 Villous explants of 5-8 weeks gestation were incubated overnight in DMEM/F12. Explants were then washed and incubated in DMEM/F12 containing either 10 μg/ml MAb 44G4 or non-immune IgG, 10 μM antisense, scrambled or sense endoglin oligonucleotides. The medium with or without the various agents was changed on day 3 and was replaced on day 5 by methionine-cysteine free low glucose DMEM containing 25 μCi/ml of [35S]methionine/cysteine with or without the same antibodies or oligonucleotides. The cultures were metabolically labelled for 18 h. Conditioned culture media were collected and diluted with an equal amount of 25 mM Tris-HCl buffer, pH 7.4, 0.15 M NaCl and 0.5% (v/v) Triton® X-100 reagent and fibronectin was isolated using gelatin-Sepharose® reagent as previously described (25). Briefly, 50 μl of the gelatin-Sepharose® reagent suspension was added to 500 μl of medium and the samples were incubated overnight at 4° C. The gelatin-Sepharose® beads were centrifuged, washed three times in Tris/Triton® X-100 buffer and fibronectin was eluted by boiling for 5 mM in 1% (v/v) SDS and electrophoresed on a 4-12% (w/v) polyacrylamide gradient gels. Radiolabeled fibronectin was revealed by autoradiography and quantitated using a Phospholmager® instrument (410A and Image Quant software, Molecular Dynamics).
[3H]Thymidine Incorporation into DNA
 Villous explants of 5-8 weeks gestation, cultured for 48 h with and without antisense ON to endoglin, were incubated in the presence of 1 μCi of [3H]thymidine per milliliter of medium. After 6 h of incubation explants were washed with PBS, fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for 1 h, embedded in OCT and processed for cryostat sections as previously described. Ten micron sections were mounted on 3-amino-propyl-tryethoxysilane-precoated slides and coated with NBT-2 emulsion (Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y.). Slides were developed after 3 days using Kodak D-19® developer, counterstained with eosin and examined by bright-field microscopy.
 All data are presented as means±s.e.m. of at least three separate experiments carried out in triplicate. Statistical significance was determined by Student's (t)-test for paired groups and by one-way analysis of variance followed by assessment of differences using Student-Newman-Keuls test for non-paired groups. Significance was defined as p<0.05.
Stimulation of EVT Outgrowth and Migration by Antibody and Antisense Oligonucleotides to Endoglin
 The morphological examination of villous explants of 5-8 weeks gestation, cultured in serum-free medium, revealed a pattern of EVT differentiation (cell outgrowth and migration) similar to that described by Genbacev et al (21). The viability of the explants, as measured by the rate of production of progesterone and hCG, remained relatively constant for up to 6 days.
 The ability of an antibody to endoglin (MAb 44G4) to alter the early events of EVT differentiation along the invasive pathway was examined. Exposure of villous explants of 5-8 weeks gestation to 44G4 IgG was associated with an increase in EVT outgrowth from the distal end of the villous tips and a higher number of cells migrating into the surrounding matrix. Stimulation of EVT outgrowth and migration by 44G4 IgG was specific as incubation of explants with an equivalent amount of non-immune murine IgG or medium alone had no effect. Furthermore addition of 44D7 IgG (10 μg/ml) reactive with CD98 antigen expressed at high levels on syncytiotrophoblast (26) had no stimulatory effect.
 Antisense endoglin also enhanced the number of EVT outgrowths as well as their migration and invasion into the Matrigel. Control explants, cultured in the presence of sense endoglin oligonucleotides, exhibited no such effect.
 Further experiments demonstrated that 24 h after the addition of 44G4 IgG (day 2 of culture) there was a significant increase in EVT outgrowth and migration from 0.20±0.03 in the control group to 2.03±0.46 in the antibody treated group (n=4; p<0.005). After 5 days of treatment (day 6) the number of EVT outgrowths increased from 0.64±0.09 in control IgG-treated explants to 3.2±0.5 in the 44G4 IgG-treated explants (n=10, p<0.05). Subsequent experiments demonstrated that the stimulatory effect of 44G4 IgG was dose-dependent and maximal at 1 μg/ml.
 The stimulatory effect of antisense endoglin oligonucleotides on EVT outgrowth and migration was observed on day 3 of culture with 6.87±1.5 in the antisense-treated group versus 1.42+0.41 in the sense-treated group (p<0.05). After 5 days of exposure, the number of EVT/villous tip increased from 2.08±0.47 in sense-treated explants to 8.46±1.7 in antisense-treated cultures. The antisense-endoglin effect on trophoblast differentiation was specific as incubation of explants with an equivalent amount of either sense endoglin or scrambled antisense-endoglin oligonucleotide (not shown) had no effect. Antisense endoglin stimulated EVT outgrowth and migration in a concentration-dependent manner with maximal stimulation observed at 10 μM.
Characterization of Trophoblast Differentiation Along the Invasive Pathway in Villous Explants Culture
 Previous reports indicate that stem trophoblasts within the villous core and at the proximal site of the column, where trophoblasts start to migrate away from the stem villi, undergo proliferation (21), whereas differentiated EVT do not. Therefore, studies were carried out to determine if EVT outgrowth triggered by antisense endoglin treatment was due to cell division or migration. [3H]Thymidine autoradiography of explants exposed to antisense endoglin ON showed villous trophoblast proliferation within the villous tip at the proximal site of the forming column, while both differentiated EVT, which have invaded the surrounding Matrigel® reagent, and mesenchymal cells in the villous core did not show any DNA synthesis. This suggests that EVT within the column do not divide and that blockage of endoglin most likely induces cell migration from the villous core.
 Trophoblast differentiation in situ is accompanied by a temporally and spatially regulated switch in integrin repertoire (4). When placental explants of 5-8 weeks gestation were maintained in culture for 5 days in the presence of antisense-endoglin oligonucleotides, the stimulation of EVT outgrowth and migration was also accompanied by changes in integrin expression. The α6 integrin subunit was found on polarized cytotrophoblasts within the villi and on the non-polarized trophoblasts in the proximal columns. The α5 integrin subunit was minimally expressed on polarized trophoblasts or syncytium, but was present on EVT within the columns. EVT which had migrated further away in the Matrigel were negative for the α5 integrin. All trophoblast cells, including CTB within the villi, the syncytiotrophoblast and EVT stained positively for cytokeratin confirming the epithelial-like nature of the cells forming the columns and migrating into the Matrigel. EVT which have migrated into Matrigel were positive for the α1 integrin. A polyclonal antibody to TGF-β showed staining of the syncytiotrophoblast and stroma of the villi, suggesting that TGF-β was present in the culture system. Migrating EVT and the Matrigel itself, known to contain TGF-β, showed weak positive staining. No reactivity was observed in the explants stained with control IgG.
 As little EVT outgrowth is observed under basal culture conditions, the expression of endoglin in trophoblast columns could only be studied in antisense-treated explants. Immunohistochemical analysis of explants treated with antisense oligonucleotides to endoglin revealed that in intact villi the syncytiophoblast maintained high levels of endoglin. Low levels of endoglin and α5 integrin were observed in the stroma; however this staining appears non-specific as it was also observed with non-immune IgG. The staining of endoglin in EVT of explants treated with antisense endoglin was weakly positive when compared to sections of the same explant stained with control IgG. In addition, endoglin expression in proximal columns of explants was much reduced when compared to sections of 9 weeks gestation placenta stained under similar conditions. When a subsequent section of this placenta is stained for α5 integrin, the transition zone in the proximal column is clearly visualized as negative for α5, but positive for endoglin. The α5 integrin in explants treated with antisense endoglin was also found to be highly expressed in EVT within proximal and distal columns. These data suggest that antisense endoglin treatment, which promotes EVT outgrowth and migration in explant cultures, induces a decrease in endoglin expression at the level of the transition zone, which is followed by an increase in the expression of the α5 integrin fibronectin receptor.
Stimulation of Fibronectin Production by Interference with TGF-β Response
 FN has been localized to specific regions of the matrix surrounding the anchoring villi and its production is increased during EVT differentiation (27). Thus the effect of either 44G4 IgG or antisense endoglin on fibronectin synthesis by villous explants from 5-8 weeks gestation was investigated. Explants were metabolically labelled on day 4 with [35S]methionine and newly synthesized FN released into the media over a period of 18 h was measured. Both 44G4 IgG and antisense-endoglin oligonucleotides induced a significantly greater production of FN than that observed in control IgG or sense oligonucleotide-treated cultures. Phospholmager® instrument analysis of all data demonstrated an 8- and 5-fold increase in FN synthesis (5 independent experiments carried out in triplicate, p<0.05) for 44G4 IgG and antisense-endoglin treated explants, respectively, relative to control sense or DMEM/F12 alone. FN production in villous explants, cultured in the presence of a scrambled antisense endoglin oligonucleotide, was similar to that observed in sense-treated explants or in medium alone.
 To demonstrate that endoglin is an essential component of the receptor complex in mediating the effects of TGF-β1 and TGF-β3, villous explants were preincubated with either antisense or antibody to endoglin to trigger EVT differentiation. After an overnight incubation, exogenous TGF-β1, TGF-β2 or TGF-β3 were added at a concentration of 10 ng/ml. Explants were metabolically labelled at day 5 of culture and FN synthesis was measured. Phospholmager® instrument analysis demonstrated that both antibody and antisense to endoglin significantly stimulated FN synthesis. Addition of exogenous TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 to explant cultures incubated with antisense ON or antibody to endoglin, which binds both isoforms, did not alter the stimulatory effect of antisense ON and antibody to endoglin on FN synthesis. In contrast, addition of TGF-β2, which does not interact with endoglin, overcame the antibody and antisense ON stimulatory effect on FN synthesis. TGF-β2, but not -β1 and -β3, inhibited also the EVT outgrowth and migration induced by the antisense endoglin treatment
 Treatment of human villous explants from 5-8 weeks gestation with antibodies and antisense oligonucleotides to endoglin stimulated EVT differentiation along the invasive pathway. This was manifested by 1) a significant increase in EVT outgrowth and migration, 2) an increase in fibronectin production 3) stem villous trophoblast proliferation and 4) a switch in integrin expression similar to that observed in vivo during formation of anchoring villi. These data suggest that endoglin regulates EVT differentiation during placental development. Endoglin, which is expressed in vivo in the transition area where polarized trophoblasts break through the syncytium and begin forming columns of non-polarized cells, appears to be a key molecule in mediating the inhibition of trophoblast differentiation.
 During the first trimester of gestation TGF-β is colocalized with one of its natural inhibitors, decorin, in the ECM of decidual tissue, suggesting that this proteoglycan may aid TGF-β storage or limit its activity within the decidual ECM (12). The findings described herein suggest that TGF-β produced by the villi is a negative regulator of trophoblast differentiation along the invasive pathway. The expression of endoglin at the transitional zone from polarized to non-polarized trophoblasts appears essential to the mediation of this negative regulation. Blocking endoglin expression in this transition phase triggers EVT outgrowth and migration and FN production. Thus, trophoblast invasion, characteristic of normal human placentation, is dependent on an intricate balance between positive and negative regulators. The data herein indicate that endoglin is a critical negative regulator of this system. Therefore, inappropriate expression or function of endoglin may contribute to the major complications of pregnancy such as preeclampsia or choriocarcinoma, associated with abnormal trophoblast invasion and placenta development.
 The present experiments were conducted to define the precise components that endogenously regulate trophoblast invasion. Using human villous explants of 5-7 weeks gestation it was observed that while trophoblast cells remain viable they do not spontaneously invade into the surrounding matrigel. In contrast, trophoblast cells from 9-13 weeks explants spontaneously invade the matrigel in association with an upregulation of fibronectin synthesis and integrin switching. Trophoblast invasion at 5-7 weeks can be induced by incubation with antisense to TGF-β3, TGFβ receptor I (ALK-1) or TGFβ receptor II. Only minimal invasion occurred in response to antisense to TGFβ1 and antisense TGFβ2 failed to induce invasion. These data suggest that TGF-β3 via the ALK-1-receptor II complex is a major regulator of trophoblast invasion in vitro. To determine whether this system may also operate in vivo, immunohistochemical staining was conducted for TGF-β1 and -3 and for TGF receptor I and II in trophoblast tissue from 5-13 weeks of gestation. Strong positive immunoreactivity was observed for TGF-β3 in both cyto- and syncytiotrophoblast from 5-9 weeks of gestation but immunoreactivity was markedly reduced by 12-13 weeks. Expression of TGF-β1 was absent at 5 weeks, and transiently expressed at around 8 weeks of gestation. TGF receptor I and II immunoreactivity was strong between 5-8 weeks but was not present at 12-13 weeks. Thus, the presence of TGF-β3 and its receptors at 5-8 weeks at a time when there is no spontaneous trophoblast invasion in vitro and the absence of these molecules at 12-13 weeks when spontaneous in vitro invasion occurs is consistent with a major role for TGF-β3 as an endogenous inhibitor of trophoblast invasion.
 Studies were carried out to determine if shallow trophoblast invasion in preeclampsia was associated with an abnormally sustained inhibition of invasion by TGF-β. In particular, the expression/distribution of the different TGF-β isoforms and their receptors was investigated using immunohistochemical analysis in normal placentae at 7-9 weeks (at the onset of trophoblast invasion) at 12-13 weeks (the period of peak invasion), in control placentae between 29 and 34 weeks and in preeclamptic placentae ranging from 27 to 34 weeks. In normal placentae, TGF-β3 expression was markedly reduced with advancing gestational age. Expression was high in cyto- and syncytiotrophoblast cells at 7-9 weeks of gestation but was absent in villous tissue at 12-13 weeks and at 29-34 weeks of gestation. A similar decline in positive immunoreactivity against TGF-β receptor I and II was also observed over this time period. In contrast, in preeclamptic placentae between 27-34 weeks of gestation, strong staining for TGF-β3 and its receptors was present in syncytiotrophoblast and stromal cells. Immunopositive reactivity was not detected against TGF-β1 or TGF-β2 in either normal or preeclamptic placentae. These data indicates that preeclampsia may result from a failure of trophoblast cells to downregulate expression of TGF-β3 and its receptors which continue to exert an inhibitory influence on trophoblast invasion into the uterine wall.
Materials and Methods
RT-PCR and Southern Blot Analysis
 Total RNA was extracted from the placenta, reverse transcribed and amplified by 15 cycles of PCR using TGFβ isoform specific primers. RT-PCR products were analysed by Southern blotting using 32P-labelled TGFβ cDNAs. The primer set chosen for amplification of TGFβs were based on human mRNA sequences. Primers used for amplification were: (a) TGF-β1 cDNA: (forward primer): 5'-GCCCTGGACACCAACTATTGCT-3' (SEQ ID NO: 6), (reversed primer): 5'-AGGCTCCAAATGTAGGGGCAGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 7) (predicted product size=161 bp); (b) TGF-β2 cDNA (forward primer): 5'-CATCTGGTCCCGGTGGCGCT-3' (SEQ ID NO: 8), (reversed primer): 5'-GACGATTCTGAAGTAGGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 9) (predicted product size=353 bp); (c) TGF-β3 cDNA: (forward primer): 5'-CAAAGGGCTCTGGTGGTCCTG-3', (SEQ ID NO: 10) (reversed primer): 5'-CTTAGAGGTAATTCCCTTGGGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 11) (predicted product size=374 bp); (c) β-actin cDNA: (forward primer): 5'-CTTCTACAATGAGCTGGGTG-3', (SEQ ID NO: 12) (reversed primer): 5'-TCATGAGGTAGTCAGTCAGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 13) (predicted product size=307 bp). The identity of the PCR reaction products was also confirmed by sequencing.
 Placental tissue was processed for immunocytochemistry as previously described (I. Caniggia et al., Endocrinology. 138, 3976 1997). Purified rabbit polyclonal antibody directed against TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, Calif.) were used at 1:50 dilution. Sections (7 μm) were stained using the avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase method (I. Caniggia et al., Endocrinology. 138, 3976 1997). Control experiments included replacement of primary antibodies with antiserum preincubated with an excess of TGFβs (competing peptide) or with blocking solution [5% (vol/vol) NGS and 1% (wt/vol) BSA].
Human Villus Explant Culture System
 Villous explant cultures were established as described previously (I. Caniggia et al Endocrinology. 138, 3976 1997, O. Genbacev et al., Placenta 13:439, 1992) from first trimester human placentae (5-10 weeks gestation) or from preeclamptic and age-matched control placentae (30 and 32 weeks of gestation) after collection according to ethical guidelines. The preeclamptic group was selected according to both clinical and pathological criteria (L. Chesley, Obstet. Gynecol. 65, 423, 1985). Following an overnight period in serum-free DMEM/F12, explants were cultured in media containing antisense or sense oligonucleotides (10 μM) for up to 6 days (with changes of media/oligonucleotides every 48 hours). Phosphorothioate oligonucleotides of 16 base pairs targeted against sequences adjacent to the AUG initiation codon of different human TGFβ isoforms mRNA were synthesized as follows: TGF-β1 5'-CCCCGAGGGCGGCATG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 14) and 5'-CATGCCGCCCTCGGGG-3', (SEQ ID NO: 15) respectively; TGFβ2 5'-CACACAGTAGTGCATG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 16) and 5'-CATGCACTACTGTGTG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 17); TGF-β3 5'-CCTTTGCAAGTGCATC-3' (SEQ ID NO: 1) and 5'-GATGCACTTGCAAAGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 2).
 To measure fibronectin synthesis on day 5 explants were cultured in the presence of 25 μCi/ml of [35S]methionine/cysteine for 18 hours. Conditioned culture media were collected and diluted with an equal amount of 25 mM Tris-HCl buffer, pH 7.4, 0.15 M NaCl and 0.5% (v/v) Triton® X-100 reagent and fibronectin was isolated using gelatin-Sepharose® reagent as previously described (I. Caniggia et al Endocrinology. 138, 3976 1997, E. Engvall et al Int. J. Cancer. 20:1, 1977). Radiolabeled fibronectin was revealed by autoradiography and quantitated using a Phospholmager® instrument (410A and Image Quant software, Molecular Dynamics).
 Analysis of gelatinolytic activity was performed using 10% polyacrylamide gel (wt/vol) impregnated with 0.1% gelatin (NOVEX, San Diego, Calif.) as previously described (I. Caniggia et al Endocrinology. 138, 3976 1997). For Western blot analysis of metalloproteases expression, 5 μl of conditioned media were subjected to gel electrophoresis using 10% polyacrylamide gels. Proteins were then blotted to Westran® PVDF membrane. Primary antibodies were used at 1:100 dilution and detected using horse radish peroxidase conjugated antimouse IgG (Amersham 1:10.000 fold dilution) and enhanced by chemiluminescence (ECL, Amersham).
 The expression of TGFβ around 9-12 weeks of pregnancy and its relationship to trophoblast invasion and subsequently preeclampsia were investigated. Using low cycle RT-PCR followed by Southern blot analysis all three isoforms of TGF were found to be expressed during the first trimester (FIG. 3A). However, while transcripts corresponding to TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 were uniformly expressed throughout this period, the expression of TGF-β3 exhibited a striking pattern of developmental or temporal regulation. TGF-β3 mRNA levels were relatively low at 5-6 weeks, increased markedly between 7 and 8 weeks, and then fell precipitously at 9 weeks. This pattern of expression for the TGF-β3 isoform was confirmed at the protein level by immunohistochemistry (FIG. 3B). TGF-β3 was localized to cyto and syncytiotrophoblasts within the villous and also to cytotrophoblasts within the invading column (FIG. 3B). TGF-β3 was noticeably absent in those cytotrophoblast cells at the transition between polarized and non-polarized cells at the proximal site of the forming column. Importantly, the down-regulation of TGF-β3 around 9 weeks is temporally associated with the period of maximal trophoblast invasion in vivo and the expression of markers of cytotrophoblast invasion, including switching of integrin isoforms (Damsky, C. H. et al Development 120:3657, 1994), synthesis of matrix ligands for these integrins (P. Bischof, L. Haenggeli A. Campana, Human Reprod. 10, 734. (1995), M. J. Kupferminc, A. M. Peaceman, T. R. Wigton, K. A. Rehnberg, M. A. Socol, Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 172, 649 (1995)) and upregulation of gelatinase A (MMP2) and gelatinase B (MMP9) activity (C. I. Librach, et al. J. Biol. Chem. 269, 17125. (1994)).
 To determine the functional significance of the TGFβ expression patterns, a human villous explant culture system was used which mimics closely the normal pattern of trophoblast invasion in vivo (I. Caniggia, C. V. Taylor, J. W. K. Ritchie, S. J. Lye, M. Letarte, Endocrinology. 138, 4977 (1997), O. Genbacev, S. A. Schubach, R. K. Miller, Placenta 13, 439. (1992)). Morphologic (EVT outgrowth) and biochemical (fibronectin [FN] synthesis and gelatinase activity) indices of trophoblast invasion were monitored in response to antisense (AS) induced suppression of TGFβ isoform expression in explants at 5-8 weeks of gestation. Explants exposed to AS TGF-β3 (but not TGFβ1 or TGFβ2) displayed prominent EVT outgrowth from the distal end of the villous tip (FIG. 4A). This morphologic response was associated with a significant increase in FN synthesis (FIG. 4B, and FIG. 4E) and gelatinase activity (FIG. 4D). The specificity of the AS TGF-β3 response was demonstrated by reversal of both morphologic and biochemical indices when AS-treated explants were cultured in the presence of TGF-β3 but not TGFβ1 (FIG. 4C). The induction of FN synthesis by AS TGF-β3 at 5-8 weeks was lost at 9-13 weeks (FIG. 4E) further demonstrating the specificity of the AS action as TGF-β3 is not expressed in villous trophoblast at 9-12 weeks.
 These functional data together with the temporal-spatial expression patterns strongly suggest that down-regulation of TGF-β3 around 9-12 weeks is required for optimal trophoblast invasion indicate that a failure to down-regulate TGF-β3 expression is the basis of limited trophoblast invasion found in preeclampsia. Significantly higher levels of mRNA encoding TGF-β3 (but not TGFβ1 or TGFβ2) were found in preeclamptic versus control placentae (FIG. 5A). Immunoreactive TGF-β3 intensively labelled syncytio and cytotrophoblasts in villous tissues from preeclamptic patients while little or no immunoreactivity was present in the age-matched controls (FIG. 5B). Elevated levels of FN mRNA and a failure to complete integrin switching (i.e., the trophoblast remain positive for α5 and fail to express α1 were also observed in preeclamptic placentae. These data suggest that the trophoblasts from preeclamptic placenta are arrested at a relatively immature phenotype possibly due to a failure to undergo complete differentiation along the invasive pathway during the first trimester of gestation.
 To determine whether there was functional significance associated with overexpression of TGF-β3 in preeclamptic placentae, the pattern of trophoblast differentiation along the invasive pathway in explants from control and preeclamptic patients was analyzed. When cultured on matrigel, explants from non-preeclamptic patients showed formation of EVT columns which spontaneously invaded into the surrounding matrigel. In contrast, explants from preeclamptic placentae failed to exhibit EVT outgrowth or invasion (FIG. 6A). These data are consistent with the view that preeclampsia is associated with reduced invasive capability of trophoblasts. Of critical importance to the investigation was whether this reduced invasive capability was due to the overexpression of TGF-β3. Therefore the differentiation of villous explants from preeclamptic patients cultured in the presence of AS TGF-β3 was monitored. In contrast to untreated or sense-treated controls, treatment of explants from preeclamptic patients with AS TGF-β3 restored the invasive capability, as demonstrated by the formation of EVT columns migrating through the matrigel (FIG. 6A). The invasive nature of this phenotype was confirmed by the finding that explants treated with AS TGF-β3 acquired the expression of gelatinase B/MMP9, an enzyme which is normally only expressed in trophoblast cells that are highly invasive (FIG. 6B and FIG. 6C).
 The data presented here demonstrate not only that abnormalities in TGF-β3 expression are associated with preeclampsia but also that down-regulation of TGF-β3 with antisense oligonucleotides restores the invasive capability of preeclamptic trophoblasts. The data are consistent with a model of normal placentation in which down-regulation of TGF-β3 expression in trophoblast around 9 weeks of pregnancy permits differentiation of trophoblast to EVT that form the anchoring villi and from which derive the α1-integrin positive EVT which invade deep into the maternal uterus. This invasion contributes to the remodelling of the uterine spiral arteries and ultimately enables the establishment of increased vascular perfusion of the placenta. In placentae predisposed to preeclampsia, TGF-β3 expression remains abnormally elevated and trophoblasts remain in a relatively immature state of differentiation. As a direct consequence, trophoblast invasion into the uterus is limited and uteroplacental perfusion is reduced. This conclusion is consistent with the clinical manifestations of preeclampsia, including shallow trophoblast invasion into the uterus and abnormally high uteroplacental vascular resistance.
Role of O2 Tension in Trophoblast Invasion
 The role of oxygen tension in regulating trophoblast differentiation along the invasive pathway has been investigated. The data indicate that expression of hypoxia inducible factor HIF-1α parallels that of TGF-β3 in first trimester trophoblast (i.e. peaks at 6-8 weeks but decreases after 9-10 weeks when oxygen tension increases (FIG. 7A). The presence of putative HIF-1 binding sites in the promoter region of the TGF-β3 gene suggests that induction of HIF-1α by low PO2 (around 6-8 weeks) up regulates TGF-β3 transcription and blocks a trophoblast invasion. A failure of the system to down-regulate at 9-12 weeks (either due to a block in response to normoxia or the absence of an increase in oxygen tension) could lead to shallow invasion and predispose to preeclampsia. This is supported by data showing that expression of HIF-1α is dramatically increased in placentas of preeclamptic patients when compared to age-matched control tissue (FIG. 7B). In FIGS. 7A and 7B mRNA HIF-1α expression was assessed by using low cycle RT-PCR followed by Southern blot analysis. This is also supported by FIG. 8 showing the effect of low oxygen tension of TGF-β3 and HIF-1α expression in villous explants; FIG. 9 showing the effect of low oxygen tension on villous explant morphology; and FIG. 10 showing the effect of antisense to HIF-1α on villous explant morphology.
TGF-β3 Signals through a Receptor Complex
 In addition to endoglin, evidence indicates that TGF-β3 signals through a receptor complex which includes RI (ALK-1) and RII. While TGFβ R-I (ALK-5) and TGFβ R-II are expressed throughout the villi and decidua at 9-10 weeks gestation; they are absent from the base of the proximal columns of the anchoring villi at the transition zone between the villous and the invading EVT, exactly at the site where endoglin is upregulated. This dramatic change in TGF-β receptor expression suggests that EVTs within the columns in situ are not subject to the inhibitory actions of TGFβ but via R-I and R-II they do come under the control of this ligand upon entering the decidua. The potential clinical importance of the TGFβ receptor system in trophoblast invasion is highlighted by data demonstrating that beside TGF-β3, R-I is expressed at greater levels in trophoblast tissue of preeclamptic patients when compared to that in age-matched control placenta. Antisense disruption of R-I (ALK-1) and R-II expression stimulated trophoblast outgrowth/migration and FN synthesis. In contrast, antisense to R-I (ALK-5) inhibited FN synthesis.
 While the present invention has been described with reference to what are presently considered to be the preferred examples, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed examples. To the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
 All publications, patents and patent applications are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference in its entirety.
 Below full citations are set out for the references referred to in the specification and detailed legends for the figures are provided.
FULL CITATIONS FOR REFERENCES REFERRED TO IN THE SPECIFICATION
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DETAILED FIGURE LEGENDS
 FIG. 3 Expression of TGF-β isoforms in human placenta in the first trimester of gestation. (FIG. 3A) Message expression of TGFβ isoforms was assessed by low cycle RT-PCR followed by Southern blot analysis using specific probes for TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 and the control house-keeping gene β-actin. Note that TGF-β3 expression increases around 7-8 weeks gestation and declines thereafter. (FIG. 3B) Immunoperoxidase staining of TGF-β3 was performed in placental sections at 5, 8 and 12 weeks of gestation. Sections of placental tissue of 5 weeks gestation show positive immunoreactivity visualized by brown staining in the cytotrophoblast, syncytiotrophoblast and stromal cells of the chorionic villi. Sections of placental tissue of 8 weeks gestation show strong positive immunoreactivity in the cytotrophoblast, syncytiotrophoblast, and stromal cells. Note that TGF-β3 was expressed in the non-polarized trophoblast within the column (EVT, thin arrow) but was absent in the transitional zone where polarized cells become unpolarized (thick arrows). Sections of placenta at 12 weeks gestation demonstrate low or absent TGF-β3 immunoreactivity in the villi. There is no immunoreactivity when antiserum was preincubated with an excess of TGF-β3 competing peptide (8 weeks, control).
 FIG. 4 Antisense TGF-β3 stimulates trophoblast migration, fibronectin production and gelatinase activity. Explants of 5-8 weeks gestation were treated for 5 days with 10 μM antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 (AS-β3), AS-β3 plus 10 ng/ml recombinant TGF-β3 (AS-β3+β3) or AS-β3 plus recombinant TGF-β1 (AS-β3+β1). Control experiments were run in parallel using sense TGF-β3 (S-β3) or medium alone (FIG. 4C). (FIG. 4A) Shown is a representative experiment demonstrating that addition of recombinant TGF-β3 to antisense TGF-β3 treated explants (AS-β3+β3) abolishes the antisense stimulatory effect on trophoblasts budding and outgrowth (arrows). (FIG. 4B) Similar reversal effect on AS-β3 stimulatory effect by exogenous TGF-β3 was demonstrated also for fibronectin synthesis. Representative analysis of triplicate samples from a single experiment is shown. The position of the marker with Mr=200×103 is indicated. Lanes 1-3, S-β3 treated explants; lanes 4-6, AS-β3 treated explants; lanes 7-9, AS-β3+β3 treated explants. (FIG. 4C) Changes in fibronectin estimated after normalization to control cultures. Antisense TGF-β3 treatment (AS-β3, solid bar) significantly increased (p<0.05; one-way ANOVA followed by Student-Newman-Keuls test for non-paired groups) the amount of labelled fibronectin compared to both medium alone (FIG. 4C, open bar) or sense (S-β3, cross bar). Addition of exogenous TGF-β3 (AS-β3+β3 squares bar) but not TGF-β1 (AS-β3+β1 cross hatched bar) to the antisense treated explants abolished the antisense stimulatory effect on fibronectin production demonstrating the specificity of the action of TGF-β3. (FIG. 4D) Gelatinase activity in conditioned media of explants treated with sense or antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3. Arrows indicate positions of gelatinases activity (MMP2: 60, 68; MMP9: 84 and 92, kDa). (FIG. 4E) The antisense TGF-β3 stimulatory effect on fibronectin production is lost after 9 weeks of gestation. Explants of 6 and 10 weeks gestation were treated with 10 μM antisense (AS-β3) or control sense (S-β3) oligonucleotides to TGF-β3. Newly synthesized fibronectin was isolated from the medium as described above. Representative analysis of triplicate samples from a single experiment is shown. Lanes 1-3 and 7-9, S-β3 treated explants; lanes 4-6 and 10-12, AS-β3 treated explants.
 FIG. 5 TGF-β3 is overexpressed in preeclamptic placentae. (FIG. 5A) Message expression of TGFβ isoforms, α5 integrin receptor and fibronectin in preeclamptic (PE) and age-matched control placentae (FIG. 5C) was assessed by low cycle RT-PCR followed by Southern blot analysis using specific probes for TGF-β1, TGF-β2, TGF-β3, α5, fibronectin and the control house-keeping gene β-actin. Note that TGF-β3, α5 and fibronectin, but not TGF-β1 or TGF-β2, expression were higher in preeclamptic placentae when compared to age-matched control. (FIG. 5B) Immunoperoxidase staining of TGF-β3 was performed in placental sections from normal pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia. Sections of normal placental tissue of 29, 31 and 33 weeks of gestation show low/absent TGF-β3 immunoreactivity in cells of the chorionic villi. Sections of preeclamptic placental tissue of the same gestation show strong positive immunoreactivity visualized by brown staining in the cytotrophoblast, syncytiotrophoblast and stromal cells of the chorionic villi. Control experiments were performed using antiserum preabsorbed with an excess of peptide.
 FIG. 6A Antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 induce the formation of columns of trophoblast cells in preeclamptic villous explants. Villous explant cultures were prepared from preeclamptic and age-matched control placentae. Explants were maintained in culture in the presence of either control sense or antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 for 5 days. Morphological integrity was recorded daily. Explants from normal placenta (32 weeks), exposed to sense oligonucleotides (S-β3) spontaneously form columns of trophoblast cells which migrate and invade into the surrounding Matrigel (arrows), while explants from preeclamptic placenta (32 weeks) exposed to sense oligonucleotides do not. In contrast, antisense treatment (AS-β3) triggers the formation of invading trophoblast columns (arrows) in preeclamptic placentae.
 FIG. 6B and FIG. 6C. Antisense oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 triggers gelatinase activity and expression in preeclamptic villous explants. Explants of 32 weeks gestation from preeclamptic placentae were treated with antisense (AS-β3) or control sense (S-β3) oligonucleotides to TGF-β3 for 5 days. Samples of conditioned medium were collected at day 5 and subjected to analysis by gelatin Zymography (FIG. 6B) or Western blotting with MMP9 antisera (FIG. 6C). Arrows indicate positions of gelatinases activity (MMP-2: 60, 68; MMP-9: 84 and 92, kDa).
24116DNAHomo sapiens 1cctttgcaag tgcatc 16216DNAHomo sapiens 2gatgcacttg caaagg 16316DNAHomo sapiens 3gcgtgccgcg gtccat 16416DNAHomo sapiens 4atggaccgcg gcacgc 16516DNAHomo sapiens 5gcgggcctcg ttccag 16622DNAHomo sapiens 6gccctggaca ccaactattg ct 22722DNAHomo sapiens 7aggctccaaa tgtaggggca gg 22820DNAHomo sapiens 8catctggtcc cggtggcgct 20918DNAHomo sapiens 9gacgattctg aagtaggg 181021DNAHomo sapiens 10caaagggctc tggtggtcct g 211122DNAHomo sapiens 11cttagaggta attcccttgg gg 221220DNAHomo sapiens 12cttctacaat gagctgggtg 201320DNAHomo sapiens 13tcatgaggta gtcagtcagg 201416DNAHomo sapiens 14ccccgagggc ggcatg 161516DNAHomo sapiens 15catgccgccc tcgggg 161616DNAHomo sapiens 16cacacagtag tgcatg 161716DNAHomo sapiens 17catgcactac tgtgtg 161816DNAHomo sapiens 18cctttgcaag tgcatc 161916DNAHomo sapiens 19gatgcacttg caaagg 16202574DNAHomo sapiensCDS(254)..(1492) 20cctgtttaga cacatggaca acaatcccag cgctacaagg cacacagtcc gcttcttcgt 60cctcagggtt gccagcgctt cctggaagtc ctgaagctct cgcagtgcag tgagttcatg 120caccttcttg ccaagcctca gtctttggga tctggggagg ccgcctggtt ttcctccctc 180cttctgcacg tctgctgggg tctcttcctc tccaggcctt gccgtccccc tggcctctct 240tcccagctca cac atg aag atg cac ttg caa agg gct ctg gtg gtc ctg 289 Met Lys Met His Leu Gln Arg Ala Leu Val Val Leu 1 5 10gcc ctg ctg aac ttt gcc acg gtc agc ctc tct ctg tcc act tgc acc 337Ala Leu Leu Asn Phe Ala Thr Val Ser Leu Ser Leu Ser Thr Cys Thr 15 20 25acc ttg gac ttc ggc cac atc aag aag aag agg gtg gaa gcc att agg 385Thr Leu Asp Phe Gly His Ile Lys Lys Lys Arg Val Glu Ala Ile Arg 30 35 40gga cag atc ttg agc aag ctc agg ctc acc agc ccc cct gag cca acg 433Gly Gln Ile Leu Ser Lys Leu Arg Leu Thr Ser Pro Pro Glu Pro Thr45 50 55 60gtg atg acc cac gtc ccc tat cag gtc ctg gcc ctt tac aac agc acc 481Val Met Thr His Val Pro Tyr Gln Val Leu Ala Leu Tyr Asn Ser Thr 65 70 75cgg gag ctg ctg gag gag atg cat ggg gag agg gag gaa ggc tgc acc 529Arg Glu Leu Leu Glu Glu Met His Gly Glu Arg Glu Glu Gly Cys Thr 80 85 90cag gaa aac acc gag tcg gaa tac tat gcc aaa gaa atc cat aaa ttc 577Gln Glu Asn Thr Glu Ser Glu Tyr Tyr Ala Lys Glu Ile His Lys Phe 95 100 105gac atg atc cag ggg ctg gcg gag cac aac gaa ctg gct gtc tgc cct 625Asp Met Ile Gln Gly Leu Ala Glu His Asn Glu Leu Ala Val Cys Pro 110 115 120aaa gga att acc tcc aag gtt ttc cgc ttc aat gtg tcc tca gtg gag 673Lys Gly Ile Thr Ser Lys Val Phe Arg Phe Asn Val Ser Ser Val Glu125 130 135 140aaa aat aga acc aac cta ttc cga gca gaa ttc cgg gtc ttg cgg gtg 721Lys Asn Arg Thr Asn Leu Phe Arg Ala Glu Phe Arg Val Leu Arg Val 145 150 155ccc aac ccc agc tct aag cgg aat gag cag agg atc gag ctc ttc cag 769Pro Asn Pro Ser Ser Lys Arg Asn Glu Gln Arg Ile Glu Leu Phe Gln 160 165 170atc ctt cgg cca gat gag cac att gcc aaa cag cgc tat atc ggt ggc 817Ile Leu Arg Pro Asp Glu His Ile Ala Lys Gln Arg Tyr Ile Gly Gly 175 180 185aag aat ctg ccc aca cgg ggc act gcc gag tgg ctg tcc ttt gat gtc 865Lys Asn Leu Pro Thr Arg Gly Thr Ala Glu Trp Leu Ser Phe Asp Val 190 195 200act gac act gtg cgt gag tgg ctg ttg aga aga gag tcc aac tta ggt 913Thr Asp Thr Val Arg Glu Trp Leu Leu Arg Arg Glu Ser Asn Leu Gly205 210 215 220cta gaa atc agc att cac tgt cca tgt cac acc ttt cag ccc aat gga 961Leu Glu Ile Ser Ile His Cys Pro Cys His Thr Phe Gln Pro Asn Gly 225 230 235gat atc ctg gaa aac att cac gag gtg atg gaa atc aaa ttc aaa ggc 1009Asp Ile Leu Glu Asn Ile His Glu Val Met Glu Ile Lys Phe Lys Gly 240 245 250gtg gac aat gag gat gac cat ggc cgt gga gat ctg ggg cgc ctc aag 1057Val Asp Asn Glu Asp Asp His Gly Arg Gly Asp Leu Gly Arg Leu Lys 255 260 265aag cag aag gat cac cac aac cct cat cta atc ctc atg atg att ccc 1105Lys Gln Lys Asp His His Asn Pro His Leu Ile Leu Met Met Ile Pro 270 275 280cca cac cgg ctc gac aac ccg ggc cag ggg ggt cag agg aag aag cgg 1153Pro His Arg Leu Asp Asn Pro Gly Gln Gly Gly Gln Arg Lys Lys Arg285 290 295 300gct ttg gac acc aat tac tgc ttc cgc aac ttg gag gag aac tgc tgt 1201Ala Leu Asp Thr Asn Tyr Cys Phe Arg Asn Leu Glu Glu Asn Cys Cys 305 310 315gtg cgc ccc ctc tac att gac ttc cga cag gat ctg ggc tgg aag tgg 1249Val Arg Pro Leu Tyr Ile Asp Phe Arg Gln Asp Leu Gly Trp Lys Trp 320 325 330gtc cat gaa cct aag ggc tac tat gcc aac ttc tgc tca ggc cct tgc 1297Val His Glu Pro Lys Gly Tyr Tyr Ala Asn Phe Cys Ser Gly Pro Cys 335 340 345cca tac ctc cgc agt gca gac aca acc cac agc acg gtg ctg gga ctg 1345Pro Tyr Leu Arg Ser Ala Asp Thr Thr His Ser Thr Val Leu Gly Leu 350 355 360tac aac act ctg aac cct gaa gca tct gcc tcg cct tgc tgc gtg ccc 1393Tyr Asn Thr Leu Asn Pro Glu Ala Ser Ala Ser Pro Cys Cys Val Pro365 370 375 380cag gac ctg gag ccc ctg acc atc ctg tac tat gtt ggg agg acc ccc 1441Gln Asp Leu Glu Pro Leu Thr Ile Leu Tyr Tyr Val Gly Arg Thr Pro 385 390 395aaa gtg gag cag ctc tcc aac atg gtg gtg aag tct tgt aaa tgt agc 1489Lys Val Glu Gln Leu Ser Asn Met Val Val Lys Ser Cys Lys Cys Ser 400 405 410tga gaccccacgt gcgacagaga gaggggagag agaaccacca ctgcctgact 1542gcccgctcct cgggaaacac acaagcaaca aacctcactg agaggcctgg agcccacaac 1602cttcggctcc gggcaaatgg ctgagatgga ggtttccttt tggaacattt ctttcttgct 1662ggctctgaga atcacggtgg taaagaaagt gtgggtttgg ttagaggaag gctgaactct 1722tcagaacaca cagactttct gtgacgcaga cagaggggat ggggatagag gaaagggatg 1782gtaagttgag atgttgtgtg gcaatgggat ttgggctacc ctaaagggag aaggaagggc 1842agagaatggc tgggtcaggg ccagactgga agacacttca gatctgaggt tggatttgct 1902cattgctgta ccacatctgc tctagggaat ctggattatg ttatacaagg caagcatttt 1962tttttttaaa gacaggttac gaagacaaag tcccagaatt gtatctcata ctgtctggga 2022ttaagggcaa atctattact tttgcaaact gtcctctaca tcaattaaca tcgtgggtca 2082ctacagggag aaaatccagg tcatgcagtt cctggcccat caactgtatt gggccttttg 2142gatatgctga acgcagaaga aagggtggaa atcaaccctc tcctgtctgc cctctgggtc 2202cctcctctca cctctccctc gatcatattt ccccttggac acttggttag acgccttcca 2262ggtcaggatg cacatttctg gattgtggtt ccatgcagcc ttggggcatt atgggtcttc 2322ccccacttcc cctccaagac cctgtgttca tttggtgttc ctggaagcag gtgctacaac 2382atgtgaggca ttcggggaag ctgcacatgt gccacacagt gacttggccc cagacgcata 2442gactgaggta taaagacaag tatgaatatt actctcaaaa tctttgtata aataaatatt 2502tttggggcat cctggatgat ttcatcttct ggaatattgt ttctagaaca gtaaaagcct 2562tattctaagg tg 257421412PRTHomo sapiens 21Met Lys Met His Leu Gln Arg Ala Leu Val Val Leu Ala Leu Leu Asn1 5 10 15Phe Ala Thr Val Ser Leu Ser Leu Ser Thr Cys Thr Thr Leu Asp Phe 20 25 30Gly His Ile Lys Lys Lys Arg Val Glu Ala Ile Arg Gly Gln Ile Leu 35 40 45Ser Lys Leu Arg Leu Thr Ser Pro Pro Glu Pro Thr Val Met Thr His 50 55 60Val Pro Tyr Gln Val Leu Ala Leu Tyr Asn Ser Thr Arg Glu Leu Leu65 70 75 80Glu Glu Met His Gly Glu Arg Glu Glu Gly Cys Thr Gln Glu Asn Thr 85 90 95Glu Ser Glu Tyr Tyr Ala Lys Glu Ile His Lys Phe Asp Met Ile Gln 100 105 110Gly Leu Ala Glu His Asn Glu Leu Ala Val Cys Pro Lys Gly Ile Thr 115 120 125Ser Lys Val Phe Arg Phe Asn Val Ser Ser Val Glu Lys Asn Arg Thr 130 135 140Asn Leu Phe Arg Ala Glu Phe Arg Val Leu Arg Val Pro Asn Pro Ser145 150 155 160Ser Lys Arg Asn Glu Gln Arg Ile Glu Leu Phe Gln Ile Leu Arg Pro 165 170 175Asp Glu His Ile Ala Lys Gln Arg Tyr Ile Gly Gly Lys Asn Leu Pro 180 185 190Thr Arg Gly Thr Ala Glu Trp Leu Ser Phe Asp Val Thr Asp Thr Val 195 200 205Arg Glu Trp Leu Leu Arg Arg Glu Ser Asn Leu Gly Leu Glu Ile Ser 210 215 220Ile His Cys Pro Cys His Thr Phe Gln Pro Asn Gly Asp Ile Leu Glu225 230 235 240Asn Ile His Glu Val Met Glu Ile Lys Phe Lys Gly Val Asp Asn Glu 245 250 255Asp Asp His Gly Arg Gly Asp Leu Gly Arg Leu Lys Lys Gln Lys Asp 260 265 270His His Asn Pro His Leu Ile Leu Met Met Ile Pro Pro His Arg Leu 275 280 285Asp Asn Pro Gly Gln Gly Gly Gln Arg Lys Lys Arg Ala Leu Asp Thr 290 295 300Asn Tyr Cys Phe Arg Asn Leu Glu Glu Asn Cys Cys Val Arg Pro Leu305 310 315 320Tyr Ile Asp Phe Arg Gln Asp Leu Gly Trp Lys Trp Val His Glu Pro 325 330 335Lys Gly Tyr Tyr Ala Asn Phe Cys Ser Gly Pro Cys Pro Tyr Leu Arg 340 345 350Ser Ala Asp Thr Thr His Ser Thr Val Leu Gly Leu Tyr Asn Thr Leu 355 360 365Asn Pro Glu Ala Ser Ala Ser Pro Cys Cys Val Pro Gln Asp Leu Glu 370 375 380Pro Leu Thr Ile Leu Tyr Tyr Val Gly Arg Thr Pro Lys Val Glu Gln385 390 395 400Leu Ser Asn Met Val Val Lys Ser Cys Lys Cys Ser 405 410223678DNAHomo sapiensCDS(29)..(2509) 22gtgaagacat cgcggggacc gattcacc atg gag ggc gcc ggc ggc gcg aac 52 Met Glu Gly Ala Gly Gly Ala Asn 1 5gac aag aaa aag ata agt tct gaa cgt cga aaa gaa aag tct cga gat 100Asp Lys Lys Lys Ile Ser Ser Glu Arg Arg Lys Glu Lys Ser Arg Asp 10 15 20gca gcc aga tct cgg cga agt aaa gaa tct gaa gtt ttt tat gag ctt 148Ala Ala Arg Ser Arg Arg Ser Lys Glu Ser Glu Val Phe Tyr Glu Leu25 30 35 40gct cat cag ttg cca ctt cca cat aat gtg agt tcg cat ctt gat aag 196Ala His Gln Leu Pro Leu Pro His Asn Val Ser Ser His Leu Asp Lys 45 50 55gcc tct gtg atg agg ctt acc atc agc tat ttg cgt gtg agg aaa ctt 244Ala Ser Val Met Arg Leu Thr Ile Ser Tyr Leu Arg Val Arg Lys Leu 60 65 70ctg gat gct ggt gat ttg gat att gaa gat gac atg aaa gca cag atg 292Leu Asp Ala Gly Asp Leu Asp Ile Glu Asp Asp Met Lys Ala Gln Met 75 80 85aat tgc ttt tat ttg aaa gcc ttg gat ggt ttt gtt atg gtt ctc aca 340Asn Cys Phe Tyr Leu Lys Ala Leu Asp Gly Phe Val Met Val Leu Thr 90 95 100gat gat ggt gac atg att tac att tct gat aat gtg aac aaa tac atg 388Asp Asp Gly Asp Met Ile Tyr Ile Ser Asp Asn Val Asn Lys Tyr Met105 110 115 120gga tta act cag ttt gaa cta act gga cac agt gtg ttt gat ttt act 436Gly Leu Thr Gln Phe Glu Leu Thr Gly His Ser Val Phe Asp Phe Thr 125 130 135cat cca tgt gac cat gag gaa atg aga gaa atg ctt aca cac aga aat 484His Pro Cys Asp His Glu Glu Met Arg Glu Met Leu Thr His Arg Asn 140 145 150ggc ctt gtg aaa aag ggt aaa gaa caa aac aca cag cga agc ttt ttt 532Gly Leu Val Lys Lys Gly Lys Glu Gln Asn Thr Gln Arg Ser Phe Phe 155 160 165ctc aga atg aag tgt acc cta act agc cga gga aga act atg aac ata 580Leu Arg Met Lys Cys Thr Leu Thr Ser Arg Gly Arg Thr Met Asn Ile 170 175 180aag tct gca aca tgg aag gta ttg cac tgc aca ggc cac att cac gta 628Lys Ser Ala Thr Trp Lys Val Leu His Cys Thr Gly His Ile His Val185 190 195 200tat gat acc aac agt aac caa cct cag tgt ggg tat aag aaa cca cct 676Tyr Asp Thr Asn Ser Asn Gln Pro Gln Cys Gly Tyr Lys Lys Pro Pro 205 210 215atg acc tgc ttg gtg ctg att tgt gaa ccc att cct cac cca tca aat 724Met Thr Cys Leu Val Leu Ile Cys Glu Pro Ile Pro His Pro Ser Asn 220 225 230att gaa att cct tta gat agc aag act ttc ctc agt cga cac agc ctg 772Ile Glu Ile Pro Leu Asp Ser Lys Thr Phe Leu Ser Arg His Ser Leu 235 240 245gat atg aaa ttt tct tat tgt gat gaa aga att acc gaa ttg atg gga 820Asp Met Lys Phe Ser Tyr Cys Asp Glu Arg Ile Thr Glu Leu Met Gly 250 255 260tat gag cca gaa gaa ctt tta ggc cgc tca att tat gaa tat tat cat 868Tyr Glu Pro Glu Glu Leu Leu Gly Arg Ser Ile Tyr Glu Tyr Tyr His265 270 275 280gct ttg gac tct gat cat ctg acc aaa act cat cat gat atg ttt act 916Ala Leu Asp Ser Asp His Leu Thr Lys Thr His His Asp Met Phe Thr 285 290 295aaa gga caa gtc acc aca gga cag tac agg atg ctt gcc aaa aga ggt 964Lys Gly Gln Val Thr Thr Gly Gln Tyr Arg Met Leu Ala Lys Arg Gly 300 305 310gga tat gtc tgg gtt gaa act caa gca act gtc ata tat aac acc aag 1012Gly Tyr Val Trp Val Glu Thr Gln Ala Thr Val Ile Tyr Asn Thr Lys 315 320 325aat tct caa cca cag tgc att gta tgt gtg aat tac gtt gtg agt ggt 1060Asn Ser Gln Pro Gln Cys Ile Val Cys Val Asn Tyr Val Val Ser Gly 330 335 340att att cag cac gac ttg att ttc tcc ctt caa caa aca gaa tgt gtc 1108Ile Ile Gln His Asp Leu Ile Phe Ser Leu Gln Gln Thr Glu Cys Val345 350 355 360ctt aaa ccg gtt gaa tct tca gat atg aaa atg act cag cta ttc acc 1156Leu Lys Pro Val Glu Ser Ser Asp Met Lys Met Thr Gln Leu Phe Thr 365 370 375aaa gtt gaa tca gaa gat aca agt agc ctc ttt gac aaa ctt aag aag 1204Lys Val Glu Ser Glu Asp Thr Ser Ser Leu Phe Asp Lys Leu Lys Lys 380 385 390gaa cct gat gct tta act ttg ctg gcc cca gcc gct gga gac aca atc 1252Glu Pro Asp Ala Leu Thr Leu Leu Ala Pro Ala Ala Gly Asp Thr Ile 395 400 405ata tct tta gat ttt ggc agc aac gac aca gaa act gat gac cag caa 1300Ile Ser Leu Asp Phe Gly Ser Asn Asp Thr Glu Thr Asp Asp Gln Gln 410 415 420ctt gag gaa gta cca tta tat aat gat gta atg ctc ccc tca ccc aac 1348Leu Glu Glu Val Pro Leu Tyr Asn Asp Val Met Leu Pro Ser Pro Asn425 430 435 440gaa aaa tta cag aat ata aat ttg gca atg tct cca tta ccc acc gct 1396Glu Lys Leu Gln Asn Ile Asn Leu Ala Met Ser Pro Leu Pro Thr Ala 445 450 455gaa acg cca aag cca ctt cga agt agt gct gac cct gca ctc aat caa 1444Glu Thr Pro Lys Pro Leu Arg Ser Ser Ala Asp Pro Ala Leu Asn Gln 460 465 470gaa gtt gca tta aaa tta gaa cca aat cca gag tca ctg gaa ctt tct 1492Glu Val Ala Leu Lys Leu Glu Pro Asn Pro Glu Ser Leu Glu Leu Ser 475 480 485ttt acc atg ccc cag att cag gat cag aca cct agt cct tcc gat gga 1540Phe Thr Met Pro Gln Ile Gln Asp Gln Thr Pro Ser Pro Ser Asp Gly 490 495 500agc act aga caa agt tca cct gag cct aat agt ccc agt gaa tat tgt 1588Ser Thr Arg Gln Ser Ser Pro Glu Pro Asn Ser Pro Ser Glu Tyr Cys505 510 515 520ttt tat gtg gat agt gat atg gtc aat gaa ttc aag ttg gaa ttg gta 1636Phe Tyr Val Asp Ser Asp Met Val Asn Glu Phe Lys Leu Glu Leu Val 525 530 535gaa aaa ctt ttt gct gaa gac aca gaa gca aag aac cca ttt tct act 1684Glu Lys Leu Phe Ala Glu Asp Thr Glu Ala Lys Asn Pro Phe Ser Thr 540 545 550cag gac aca gat tta gac ttg gag atg tta gct ccc tat atc cca atg 1732Gln Asp Thr Asp Leu Asp
Leu Glu Met Leu Ala Pro Tyr Ile Pro Met 555 560 565gat gat gac ttc cag tta cgt tcc ttc gat cag ttg tca cca tta gaa 1780Asp Asp Asp Phe Gln Leu Arg Ser Phe Asp Gln Leu Ser Pro Leu Glu 570 575 580agc agt tcc gca agc cct gaa agc gca agt cct caa agc aca gtt aca 1828Ser Ser Ser Ala Ser Pro Glu Ser Ala Ser Pro Gln Ser Thr Val Thr585 590 595 600gta ttc cag cag act caa ata caa gaa cct act gct aat gcc acc act 1876Val Phe Gln Gln Thr Gln Ile Gln Glu Pro Thr Ala Asn Ala Thr Thr 605 610 615acc act gcc acc act gat gaa tta aaa aca gtg aca aaa gac cgt atg 1924Thr Thr Ala Thr Thr Asp Glu Leu Lys Thr Val Thr Lys Asp Arg Met 620 625 630gaa gac att aaa ata ttg att gca tct cca tct cct acc cac ata cat 1972Glu Asp Ile Lys Ile Leu Ile Ala Ser Pro Ser Pro Thr His Ile His 635 640 645aaa gaa act act agt gcc aca tca tca cca tat aga gat act caa agt 2020Lys Glu Thr Thr Ser Ala Thr Ser Ser Pro Tyr Arg Asp Thr Gln Ser 650 655 660cgg aca gcc tca cca aac aga gca gga aaa gga gtc ata gaa cag aca 2068Arg Thr Ala Ser Pro Asn Arg Ala Gly Lys Gly Val Ile Glu Gln Thr665 670 675 680gaa aaa tct cat cca aga agc cct aac gtg tta tct gtc gct ttg agt 2116Glu Lys Ser His Pro Arg Ser Pro Asn Val Leu Ser Val Ala Leu Ser 685 690 695caa aga act aca gtt cct gag gaa gaa cta aat cca aag ata cta gct 2164Gln Arg Thr Thr Val Pro Glu Glu Glu Leu Asn Pro Lys Ile Leu Ala 700 705 710ttg cag aat gct cag aga aag cga aaa atg gaa cat gat ggt tca ctt 2212Leu Gln Asn Ala Gln Arg Lys Arg Lys Met Glu His Asp Gly Ser Leu 715 720 725ttt caa gca gta gga att gga aca tta tta cag cag cca gac gat cat 2260Phe Gln Ala Val Gly Ile Gly Thr Leu Leu Gln Gln Pro Asp Asp His 730 735 740gca gct act aca tca ctt tct tgg aaa cgt gta aaa gga tgc aaa tct 2308Ala Ala Thr Thr Ser Leu Ser Trp Lys Arg Val Lys Gly Cys Lys Ser745 750 755 760agt gaa cag aat gga atg gag caa aag aca att att tta ata ccc tct 2356Ser Glu Gln Asn Gly Met Glu Gln Lys Thr Ile Ile Leu Ile Pro Ser 765 770 775gat tta gca tgt aga ctg ctg ggg caa tca atg gat gaa agt gga tta 2404Asp Leu Ala Cys Arg Leu Leu Gly Gln Ser Met Asp Glu Ser Gly Leu 780 785 790cca cag ctg acc agt tat gat tgt gaa gtt aat gct cct ata caa ggc 2452Pro Gln Leu Thr Ser Tyr Asp Cys Glu Val Asn Ala Pro Ile Gln Gly 795 800 805agc aga aac cta ctg cag ggt gaa gaa tta ctc aga gct ttg gat caa 2500Ser Arg Asn Leu Leu Gln Gly Glu Glu Leu Leu Arg Ala Leu Asp Gln 810 815 820gtt aac tga gctttttctt aatttcattc ctttttttgg acactggtgg 2549Val Asn825ctcactacct aaagcagtct atttatattt tctacatcta attttagaag cctggctaca 2609atactgcaca aacttggtta gttcaatttt tgatcccctt tctacttaat ttacattaat 2669gctctttttt agtatgttct ttaatgctgg atcacagaca gctcattttc tcagtttttt 2729ggtatttaaa ccattgcatt gcagtagcat cattttaaaa aatgcacctt tttatttatt 2789tatttttggc tagggagttt atcccttttt cgaattattt ttaagaagat gccaatataa 2849tttttgtaag aaggcagtaa cctttcatca tgatcatagg cagttgaaaa atttttacac 2909cttttttttc acattttaca taaataataa tgctttgcca gcagtacgtg gtagccacaa 2969ttgcacaata tattttctta aaaaatacca gcagttactc atggaatata ttctgcgttt 3029ataaaactag tttttaagaa gaaatttttt ttggcctatg aaattgttaa acctggaaca 3089tgacattgtt aatcatataa taatgattct taaatgctgt atggtttatt atttaaatgg 3149gtaaagccat ttacataata tagaaagata tgcatatatc tagaaggtat gtggcattta 3209tttggataaa attctcaatt cagagaaatc atctgatgtt tctatagtca ctttgccagc 3269tcaaaagaaa acaataccct atgtagttgt ggaagtttat gctaatattg tgtaactgat 3329attaaaccta aatgttctgc ctaccctgtt ggtataaaga tattttgagc agactgtaaa 3389caagaaaaaa aaaatcatgc attcttagca aaattgccta gtatgttaat ttgctcaaaa 3449tacaatgttt gattttatgc actttgtcgc tattaacatc ctttttttca tgtagatttc 3509aataattgag taattttaga agcattattt taggaatata tagttgtcac agtaaatatc 3569ttgttttttc tatgtacatt gtacaaattt ttcattcctt ttgctctttg tggttggatc 3629taacactaac tgtattgttt tgttacatca aataaacatc ttctgtgga 367823826PRTHomo sapiens 23Met Glu Gly Ala Gly Gly Ala Asn Asp Lys Lys Lys Ile Ser Ser Glu1 5 10 15Arg Arg Lys Glu Lys Ser Arg Asp Ala Ala Arg Ser Arg Arg Ser Lys 20 25 30Glu Ser Glu Val Phe Tyr Glu Leu Ala His Gln Leu Pro Leu Pro His 35 40 45Asn Val Ser Ser His Leu Asp Lys Ala Ser Val Met Arg Leu Thr Ile 50 55 60Ser Tyr Leu Arg Val Arg Lys Leu Leu Asp Ala Gly Asp Leu Asp Ile65 70 75 80Glu Asp Asp Met Lys Ala Gln Met Asn Cys Phe Tyr Leu Lys Ala Leu 85 90 95Asp Gly Phe Val Met Val Leu Thr Asp Asp Gly Asp Met Ile Tyr Ile 100 105 110Ser Asp Asn Val Asn Lys Tyr Met Gly Leu Thr Gln Phe Glu Leu Thr 115 120 125Gly His Ser Val Phe Asp Phe Thr His Pro Cys Asp His Glu Glu Met 130 135 140Arg Glu Met Leu Thr His Arg Asn Gly Leu Val Lys Lys Gly Lys Glu145 150 155 160Gln Asn Thr Gln Arg Ser Phe Phe Leu Arg Met Lys Cys Thr Leu Thr 165 170 175Ser Arg Gly Arg Thr Met Asn Ile Lys Ser Ala Thr Trp Lys Val Leu 180 185 190His Cys Thr Gly His Ile His Val Tyr Asp Thr Asn Ser Asn Gln Pro 195 200 205Gln Cys Gly Tyr Lys Lys Pro Pro Met Thr Cys Leu Val Leu Ile Cys 210 215 220Glu Pro Ile Pro His Pro Ser Asn Ile Glu Ile Pro Leu Asp Ser Lys225 230 235 240Thr Phe Leu Ser Arg His Ser Leu Asp Met Lys Phe Ser Tyr Cys Asp 245 250 255Glu Arg Ile Thr Glu Leu Met Gly Tyr Glu Pro Glu Glu Leu Leu Gly 260 265 270Arg Ser Ile Tyr Glu Tyr Tyr His Ala Leu Asp Ser Asp His Leu Thr 275 280 285Lys Thr His His Asp Met Phe Thr Lys Gly Gln Val Thr Thr Gly Gln 290 295 300Tyr Arg Met Leu Ala Lys Arg Gly Gly Tyr Val Trp Val Glu Thr Gln305 310 315 320Ala Thr Val Ile Tyr Asn Thr Lys Asn Ser Gln Pro Gln Cys Ile Val 325 330 335Cys Val Asn Tyr Val Val Ser Gly Ile Ile Gln His Asp Leu Ile Phe 340 345 350Ser Leu Gln Gln Thr Glu Cys Val Leu Lys Pro Val Glu Ser Ser Asp 355 360 365Met Lys Met Thr Gln Leu Phe Thr Lys Val Glu Ser Glu Asp Thr Ser 370 375 380Ser Leu Phe Asp Lys Leu Lys Lys Glu Pro Asp Ala Leu Thr Leu Leu385 390 395 400Ala Pro Ala Ala Gly Asp Thr Ile Ile Ser Leu Asp Phe Gly Ser Asn 405 410 415Asp Thr Glu Thr Asp Asp Gln Gln Leu Glu Glu Val Pro Leu Tyr Asn 420 425 430Asp Val Met Leu Pro Ser Pro Asn Glu Lys Leu Gln Asn Ile Asn Leu 435 440 445Ala Met Ser Pro Leu Pro Thr Ala Glu Thr Pro Lys Pro Leu Arg Ser 450 455 460Ser Ala Asp Pro Ala Leu Asn Gln Glu Val Ala Leu Lys Leu Glu Pro465 470 475 480Asn Pro Glu Ser Leu Glu Leu Ser Phe Thr Met Pro Gln Ile Gln Asp 485 490 495Gln Thr Pro Ser Pro Ser Asp Gly Ser Thr Arg Gln Ser Ser Pro Glu 500 505 510Pro Asn Ser Pro Ser Glu Tyr Cys Phe Tyr Val Asp Ser Asp Met Val 515 520 525Asn Glu Phe Lys Leu Glu Leu Val Glu Lys Leu Phe Ala Glu Asp Thr 530 535 540Glu Ala Lys Asn Pro Phe Ser Thr Gln Asp Thr Asp Leu Asp Leu Glu545 550 555 560Met Leu Ala Pro Tyr Ile Pro Met Asp Asp Asp Phe Gln Leu Arg Ser 565 570 575Phe Asp Gln Leu Ser Pro Leu Glu Ser Ser Ser Ala Ser Pro Glu Ser 580 585 590Ala Ser Pro Gln Ser Thr Val Thr Val Phe Gln Gln Thr Gln Ile Gln 595 600 605Glu Pro Thr Ala Asn Ala Thr Thr Thr Thr Ala Thr Thr Asp Glu Leu 610 615 620Lys Thr Val Thr Lys Asp Arg Met Glu Asp Ile Lys Ile Leu Ile Ala625 630 635 640Ser Pro Ser Pro Thr His Ile His Lys Glu Thr Thr Ser Ala Thr Ser 645 650 655Ser Pro Tyr Arg Asp Thr Gln Ser Arg Thr Ala Ser Pro Asn Arg Ala 660 665 670Gly Lys Gly Val Ile Glu Gln Thr Glu Lys Ser His Pro Arg Ser Pro 675 680 685Asn Val Leu Ser Val Ala Leu Ser Gln Arg Thr Thr Val Pro Glu Glu 690 695 700Glu Leu Asn Pro Lys Ile Leu Ala Leu Gln Asn Ala Gln Arg Lys Arg705 710 715 720Lys Met Glu His Asp Gly Ser Leu Phe Gln Ala Val Gly Ile Gly Thr 725 730 735Leu Leu Gln Gln Pro Asp Asp His Ala Ala Thr Thr Ser Leu Ser Trp 740 745 750Lys Arg Val Lys Gly Cys Lys Ser Ser Glu Gln Asn Gly Met Glu Gln 755 760 765Lys Thr Ile Ile Leu Ile Pro Ser Asp Leu Ala Cys Arg Leu Leu Gly 770 775 780Gln Ser Met Asp Glu Ser Gly Leu Pro Gln Leu Thr Ser Tyr Asp Cys785 790 795 800Glu Val Asn Ala Pro Ile Gln Gly Ser Arg Asn Leu Leu Gln Gly Glu 805 810 815Glu Leu Leu Arg Ala Leu Asp Gln Val Asn 820 825248DNAHomo sapiens 24bacgtssk 8
Patent applications by Isabella Caniggia, Toronto CA
Patent applications by Martin Post, Toronto CA
Patent applications by Stephen Lye, Toronto CA
Patent applications by Mount Sinai Hospital
Patent applications in class Binds hormone or other secreted growth regulatory factor, differentiation factor, or intercellular mediator (e.g., cytokine, vascular permeability factor, etc.); or binds serum protein, plasma protein, fibrin, or enzyme
Patent applications in all subclasses Binds hormone or other secreted growth regulatory factor, differentiation factor, or intercellular mediator (e.g., cytokine, vascular permeability factor, etc.); or binds serum protein, plasma protein, fibrin, or enzyme